Old to New

Another poem written which kind of covers again the worry I had about my testimony which I have since addressed (this poem was written before my previously posted testimony poem).  I know now that I can use my past as my witness and am blessed to be able to address how I will share my new found faith with those I love and care for, friends and family alike.

Just to say since writing this only a few weeks ago, God has already blessed me with a number of new Christian friends, my facebook contacts are rapidly growing!!!

OLD TO NEW

My transition from old to new, from condemnation to salvation, my heart sings out in praise, I raise my hands to the sky, sing worship to my God on high.

Transition is a difficult phase, in truth, my challenge now, to raise awareness of my choice, use my voice, turn my past into my witness, be ambitious not inhibited, ready to share the message of forgiveness with family, friends and acquaintance.

So how to tackle the issue of coming out (once more), not a sexuality confession this time, but an expression of a changed obsession, my progression from darkness to light to possessing love and forgiveness and a certain promise of resurrection and eternal life in heaven.

Help me today God to follow your path, listen to your guidance in order to silence my internal fears of rejection from old and new.  May I learn to fit into my new life, feel comfortable that by your grace I am saved and may my spiritual journey be paved with new Christian friends to raise me up along the way.

Lord help me witness to those I know from my past.  Give me an inner strength, fill me with your Holy Spirit, make me fearless, untouched by any careless comments and unafraid of silence. May I recognise this is where you have called me to serve.  Help me not to swerve, or duck out of your calling, no more stalling or falling down for fear of earthly rejection.  Give me opportunities for connection, to give my friends direction that you may gain ground, make connections and may my testimony help others gain redemption.

What would you say if…

Having now come out within this Blog, in this post I would like to share a poem I would have loved to write to my parents many (30plus) years ago.

If you are ever in a situation where your child or family member rocks your world in any way, I pray that you will remember this poem and support, love, cherish and most importantly continue to pray for them

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

What will they say, I am so scared, do you think they’ll be prepared for the multi layered complexity of what I will tell, should it cause them to recoil and say, surely our child cannot be gay?

I’ve heard them talk, I know their thoughts and after all they love the Lord, so this is not the time to say, Mum, Dad hello, I think I’m gay.

But then the dilemma, how can I go on, I’m sorry if I seem withdrawn but this is big, it’s huge it’s vast, it’s never going to go away unless I find the nerve to say, Mum, Dad hello I think I’m gay.

What will you say when your child speaks out, I urge you now to think about your response to this immense admission, so you will not fail in your recognition that love and acceptance are the answer not condemnation and opposition if you are to maintain open conversation.

My prayer for you is that you’ll find that you can keep an open mind, place your child in the Lord’s hands.  Don’t lose the relationship you once had for pride or shame or fear such as, what will the ladies say at church, what will my colleagues think at work, for after all what really matters is our God provides for every chapter and even if your life’s in tatters he holds you and your child so close and never ever will let go

In illustration of God’s glory here’s a glimpse of my story.  When I came out I felt so lonely and turned my back on all his teaching, never had much time for preaching, stopped attending church at all, didn’t realise quite how hard I’d fall.  But thanks to prayer and love and care, over many years he was always there whispering quietly in my ear, always ready to forgive and always ready to help me live the life he had planned for me, thank God you died to set me free and brought me back to life as me.

This is Me

Here is another poem I wrote about my sexuality

I’M GAY

I’m Gay (that’s a label, I don’t like it) but I guess in the big wide world that’s what I’m stuck with

I’m Gay, but hey me and God we’re dealing with it and that’s a special covenant just between us

I wasn’t born this way, but somehow got into it, when I was young, my wires got crossed, I went to church, but no one mentioned that stuff, I knew it was wrong (don’t ask me how) it wasn’t talked about, it was deep underground.

I’m Gay, but God loves me, he knows I’m a sinner, and when I turned back to him his arms opened wide, it made me feel so great inside, to know that my God never let go, never turned his back, didn’t judge or condemn, but waited patiently for his words to sink in, you are forgiven if you turn from your past, and hey now I know that I am saved at last

I’m Gay, that’s a label, please look right past it, don’t judge me, condemn me, or try to confront me, God and I we have conversations, I’m working it out and have my salvation

My testimony, my sexuality confronted..

I was challenged just this week at my first ever prayer meeting (nerve racking yet enjoyable!) to prepare and then share my testimony with one other member of the group.

1Peter 3:15 

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..

Now for me sharing my testimony also means talking about my sexuality and my sexuality was a massive barrier for me in terms of ever having a relationship with God.  (As an aside I also still find it a massive barrier when introducing myself to other Christians, I know I shouldn’t fear rejection because God has not rejected me, but I do struggle with how to be more open about my personal life).

However through his great love and grace he has saved me, I have changed path, whilst I still define myself as Gay (a label I don’t particularly like) I am no longer actively Gay nor will I ever go back to that path as I have been saved (praise God!)

I still live with my partner of 16 years, who is not (yet) a Christian and who has and still is struggling with my change of path, however I believe through God’s grace we will grow and she will also come to know his love (prayers welcome).

Anyway, cut the waffling and to the poem I wrote as my testimony

TESTIMONY

I want to share my testimony, to share my story to let people know why I believe and what your sacrifice means to me.

I was lost, I felt alone, I challenged all that you made known, I wanted to prove that I was right, I wanted to walk within the light, but I was lost and feeling low, I felt there was nowhere to go to I was acutely aware that I was a sinner and nothing I did made that feeling grow dimmer.

So here’s my story, I am gay, I’ve made excuses along the way, I’ve sought to prove that it’s OK, that Jesus wouldn’t turn me away, but what can I say?  Through seeking to prove that I was right, I learned that to walk in the light I needed to reflect and respect your word, and now it seems so absurd that I ever questioned your teaching, reaching for reassurance that just wasn’t there.

I tuned my radio into a station, Premier Christian radio, the voice of hope and reason, where your word permeated my life, like a beacon lighting my way and encouraging me to further explore, through finding a church and walking through the door.

You challenged and guided, supported and chided, surrounded me with people who cared, showed me that to be one of your children I needed to make some fundamental changes, rearrange my priorities and as I fell to my knees and asked your forgiveness I felt your love and I felt blessed.

Now I’m growing and by your grace, I face life with a smile, no longer feeling things are bad, bemoaning things I could have had, no longer feeling uncontrollably sad.  In fact the joy I feel bursts from me, I am saved, amazed at your awesome love for me, outrageous praise I have for the outrageous grace you’ve shown to me.

Easter Praise and Poems

My first Easter as a Christian, wow it felt different and made me identify much more with each character involved.  I really started to think what must it have felt like for Jesus, if I was in the crowd or an observer at the Cross.

I wrote a few poems over Easter and have shared them below.

WHAT WOULD I DO?

Lord Jesus tell me what would I do, if I was in Jerusalem, looking at you?

Release Barabbas, would that be my cry, or would I stand up and be prepared to die?

Forgive me my Lord, I don’t really know If my human weakness and frailty would show, would I go with the flow, try to fit in or could I step out and begin to show others what it means to have Christian brothers?

But now in another time and dimension, I really ought to mention that still each day we face this dilemma.

Don’t let me be spineless, help me to know that I need have no fear of mocking or jeers, that you are with me holding my hand, we will face this together, your truth will expand my horizons and help me to know that those who oppose me fail to engage with reality, justice or eternity.

So now with you I have no fear, with love and prayer I’ll meet their cries, their questions and their prying eyes,

I thank you God for this is true, you give me strength to openly love you, every day I want my life to be an expression of your love for me, to give to those who don’t understand, turn the other cheek and hold out my hand.

GOOD FRIDAY

What does Good Friday mean to me? …….. I stop to think.

Familiarity of the story perhaps prevents me from appreciating the enormity of the glorious, sacrificial act of love, of Jesus sent from heaven above

There is no doubt about one thing, your sacrifice has rescued me and redeemed me for eternity.

What did Good Friday mean to you, did you feel fear like I would do, did you feel pain and want to flee, were you really thinking of me?

Why did you allow Judas to entrap you, the soldiers to capture you, the people to condemn you, with their rapturous support of Barabbas and their ill-conceived perception of you, a blessing sent to them from above, sent to rescue them with a Father’s love.  You could have run, you could have fled, you could have given up on me, instead you chose to rescue me to enjoy life for all eternity

Reflecting on your motives, helps me more to notice the sacrifice you chose, was always to expose the weakness in their explosive hatred of your witness, where resistance played into their hands but acceptance of your Father’s plans ensured that your people here on earth would benefit from second birth.

IT IS FINISHED

Not a whimper, not a whisper you didn’t murmur, mumble or grumble there was indeed an almighty rumble, from up above the sky turned black, this was said without lack of force or decibels, in fact I believe that it was yelled so loud that with one cry we know that IT IS FINISHED.

No more pain, no suffering, no fear, no crying, weeping, wailing, sobbing, no more can death contain us IT IS FINISHED we proclaim, a new life is ours to claim, we don’t deserve the gift you bought us through your sacrificial slaughter yet IT IS FINISHED was your cry a message of love and selfless giving.

You departed this world and rose again and through that act of merciful giving, we indeed can celebrate living.  Living in a world where we are free to choose, and even when we lose in  life then in you  we are always winners, despite being sinners we are no longer condemned to eternal damnation instead we are promised a life of salvation.

MY FIRST EASTER

Some may think that what I am saying is about Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, because as a child that’s what we loved best, for our parents there was no rest until we received the chocolate treats that we perceived to be the highlight of Easter week.

But really this year what I am saying, is despite my age and Christian upbringing, I’ve woken today with great joy in my heart, my first Easter day where I’m not apart from the wonderful saviour who died on the cross, so that despite all my failings I wouldn’t be lost.

So praise to our God this my very first Easter, I’m learning and growing and following the teacher, taking more notice of all he has done, and giving us his only son, his sacrifice has rescued me, I am with him for eternity.

Impatience?!!

I know that there is a lot of work to do in me, I am at the beginning of my journey, yet I long to know how I can serve, what God’s purpose for me is.  I know he needs to prepare me but sometimes I am a little impatient and that may be reflected in this poem I wrote a few weeks ago….

REVEAL YOUR PATH

Reveal your path for me oh Lord.  I long to know how I should serve, what you have reserved for me to bring the glory back to you, to make an imprint on this land, to do the work you planned, to expand the horizons of my circle, have a universal impact and interact with Godly purpose.

Reveal your path to me oh Lord.  May I listen closely to your guidance, become compliant to your wishes, make me worthy of your calling, install a sense of obedience in me just as you have set me free, like a young bird in first flight, may I spread my wings and gain full height and maturity in my service to thee.

Be Aware

Sometimes we are weak and need to be aware of our vulnerabilities.  I wrote this poem to remind myself at times of weakness that I have a choice and have tools from God to help me.

BE AWARE

Be aware of your limitations, so that you can manage those temptations that the devil throws in your path

Be aware that you have a toolkit, check it out don’t be afraid to use it, turn to your bible to prepare, God’s word is always there

Be aware of God’s great purpose, is temptation really worth it, to stray away from his magnificent glory, to try and manage your own story?

Be aware of your gifts and talents, prayerfully use them to get a balance, yes be aware of your limitations and manage them wisely for your salvation