We are "Not Just" who we seem to be on this Earthly plane, but so much more. We are ALL children of a loving God who is calling us home to Love. This blog is dedicated to those of us on that journey together…
I am not afraid of theological diversity. We will be closer to the Truth when we admit we might not fully know it. God is waiting for us to remove the religious blocks that keep us from knowing Him. God is not religion, nor does He align with one theological perspective.
God is Love, this Love is something we will continue to grow to understand for the rest of our lives. This Love, I believe, will only be fully known when we enter Eternity’s realm. We may come close at times, yet theological study will never fully capture His Love in this life. Until we unite with God we must be humble enough to know our limitations and respect, and (dare I say?) love those who understand God differently than we do.
I love theological diversity! We may differ in our theological perspectives, yet each of us carry a bit of God’s truth! Together we can understand Him more than we ever could alone. With diversity we can expand our understanding thereby coming closer to Him and to Love.
Through our own suffering we are reminded of our mortality and human limitations. Our pain reminds us we are not omnipotent nor unbreakable! Pain propels us to look beyond our current circumstances.
Pain is a humbling force in our lives. It forces us to look outside of ourselves for hope and for direction. No longer satisfied with propelling by our own efforts alone, we are encouraged to seek out comfort and help to carry us through.
We can be consumed by pain or we can try and overcome it. By choosing to focus beyond our pain we are choosing life over death. Our hope lies beyond our pain.
We create links with others when we reach outward for healing and for help. The connections we create with others is the conduit to a power greater than ourselves. This power is the power of miracles and of healing! This power not only connects us to each other but to God.
Pain can be a catalyst for spiritual connection with each other and with the Divine. Pain encourages us to focus outside our physical selves onto the eternal. This is pain’s ultimate gift: the gift of connection and the awareness of something greater outside ourselves and beyond this world. Pain’s ultimate gift is Divine.
Who understands pain more than those who have been injured? Who understands suffering better than those who have been traumatized? It is often through our experiences that we develop compassion for others as they struggle on life’s path.
The gift of pain’s experience enables us to best know how to connect with
others in their time of greatest need. Through shared experience we can bring hope! Pain brings with it the gift of insight and knowing the needs of those who suffer or have suffered in the same way we have. This unique understanding allows us to reach out to help others in their time of need. Reaching out in this way is an act of compassion.
Pain can be the gateway for compassion and understanding. Understanding and compassion are on the path towards Love. Love is where God is and what this life-thing is all about.
We can indeed embrace our Christian Faith and our sexuality without conflict or compromise! God created us to live and love in our own unique way… and this uniqueness need not be denied but celebrated! God loves us as we are!
He created each of us to love and be loved as we are and for who we are: be it gay, transgender, lesbian, inter-sexual, bi-sexual, heterosexual or asexual.
The way we love and are loved is not a sin. Being and behaving contrary to who God created us to be, that is what is sinful. Denying our sexuality can force us to live in sin by disconnecting us from His plan for our lives.
We are reconciled to Him by embracing the beautiful person of light and of love that He created us to be. God simply needs each of us to live authentically and never be ashamed of who we are or how we love!
❤️Ann L. McPherson
‘Not Just A Blonde’
*I wrote this in response to what I would want to say to someone who felt their sexual orientation was incompatible with Christianity. It breaks my heart to think someone would feel they have to leave their Faith in order to love.
God is Love, yet how does anyone begin to describe what Love is? Love itself is a bit ambiguous and difficult to fully understand. In the English language “Love” has many different meanings and flavors depending on the context of it’s use. There is the love of passion and obsession, the love of friendship and of family, and… Spiritual Love, the love of God.
Spiritual Love… God’s Love is multi-faceted and somewhat difficult to describe. This Love is a mixture of all good things. Describing this Love is as overwhelming as when we are attempting to describe God.
There are many different ingredients that make up love: kindness, patience, empathy, forgiveness, long-suffering, compassion, hope, humility, acceptance, encouragement, generosity… just to name a few!
I have come to understand this love, God’s Love to be like a bowl of soup with each of Love’s ingredients creating Love’s life-giving sustenance and rich flavor!
Each of our bowls has a slightly different texture and flavor. Our love consists of the same basic ingredients in amounts as unique as each of us!
Your bowl may have a greater amount of patience; mine compassion. Our brother might have a generous amount of humility, your neighbor may demonstrate gracious hospitality and our sister might exude hope!
Love is filled with many ingredients that give Love it’s rich flavor! Each of us can make our own pot and share it with whomever we choose and with whom God calls us to!
We each love differently with slight uniqueness to our recipes. Love is as diverse as each of us and this is reflected in the Love Soup we offer to each other, to ourselves and to the World!
The soup of God’s Love is something we can never get too much of and it warms the soul. Pull up a chair, grab your spoon and feast on some Love soup!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8~
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” Ephesians 4:2 ~ Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.
That which is most valuable is not found within this life. Our treasures lie beyond this world in eternity! God asks us to remember that we cannot take anything of Earthly value with us when we die; yet that which has true value will always be ours and will be found there in more abundance!
Our opinions and our views are the lenses from which we perceive the world. Often the power to change our lives lies within us and is not dictated by anything or anyone outside of us! The best way to change our lives is to change our minds. Think about it.
Wether or not being gay is a sin is completely irrelevant! We could debate all day whether or not being gay is a sin. Whether or not it is a sin does not justify why many Christians treat those who identify as LGBT like they are evil-doers deserving of Hell! Many Christians are hypocritically treating these folks in very unloving ways: from fighting against gay marriage to banning LGBT folks from taking leadership positions within their church or even firing them from a job they are Divinely called to do! Before you begin to formulate your debate to justify these actions: read on and consider what I am about to say.
Everybody sins. Everyone. We have preachers preaching and people marrying everyday who are active sinners but do we actively take away their rights or keep them from their Divine calling or even give them a second thought? No!
For the record, I don’t believe (Biblically speaking) that being LGBT is a sin… but, I DO believe there are many other behavioral sins that many Christians are guilty of every single day.
For example: being a glutton is a sin. Admittedly, I am guilty of it. Yet, I was able to marry in a church, by MY pastor! I teach Sunday School and am part of a leadership group within my church! No one seems to care one bit about the fact I carry extra weight or buy too many pairs of shoes. Even with this proof of my transgressions I am accepted as I am and valued for my heart, faith and belief in our One Loving Living God!
I wonder what life might be like if we started judging ALL behavioral sins in the same way? All overweight pastors would be forced to get a medical release to prove they are not overweight due to gluttony! They would be forced to live on a glutton-free diet or risk being defrocked!
Insane thought isn’t it? Yet we do something similar when we believe being LGBT is a sin and we criticize, judge and withhold equal rights from those we are called to love because of that belief.
Question is: why do we in the Christian Faith treat the “sin” of living/being gay so much differently than other behavioral sins?
Answer this and perhaps I can understand how those who believe being gay is a sin justify treating these LGBT accused “sinners” differently than other sinners… and different from ourselves.
❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’
James 2:10 (ESV)
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. James 4:11-12 (GNT)Do not criticize one another, my friends. If you criticize or judge another Christian, you criticize and judge the Law. If you judge the Law, then you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else? Romans 14:10-14 (NIV)
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.
Many of us worry a bit too much about our appearance… and many of us make judgements and conclusions based on another’s. Sometimes these assumptions are right, but this shouldn’t cause us to treat others any differently than we ourselves would want to be treated.
Let’s not continue to live with the lie that appearances matter, when we know God only truly cares about our hearts. How we look, the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the phone we carry, the side of town we live on just doesn’t matter… It’s all Earth stuff. Earth stuff can distract us from what truly matters. Earth stuff can destroy us if we let it.
The next time you get caught up in the Earthy game of appearances remember these verses:
“My brothers, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance. Suppose a rich man wearing a gold ring and find clothes comes to your meeting, and a poor man in ragged clothes also comes. If you show more respect to the well dressed man and say to him “Have this best seat here,” but sake of the poor man, “Stand over there, or sit here on the floor by my feet,” then you are guilty of creating distinctions among yourselves and of making judgments based on evil motives.”
May we each stop judging each other and start loving each other no matter what we look like: poor or rich, fat or thin, gay or straight, homely or pretty, smart or simple-minded, acceptable or questionable.
Our hearts were created to love one another as God loves each and every one of us. Our hearts and how we love others are what truly matter to God.