March 25, 2008



Although I will still post here, I have a new site that I will be blogging on... it's purpose is more evangelistic (eventually). Check it out at:

I'll write soon!

Lots of love,


February 23, 2008

My Refining Fire.

"Fear not, Child, to go down into Egypt; for there I will make thee a great nation; I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again." [Genesis 46:3]

Stop trying to reason out your life and your spiritual existence, my friend. Stop over-thinking and over-analyzing. Stop pretending that God is uninterested and abandon your heart to the reality of it's desire - to know and experience God in the very depth of your being. Stop trying to conjure up some far-fetched reasoning that shouts out your pain and projects your sin onto the blameless hands of Christ. This reasoning can't even stand on it's own two feet and will surely fail if it is not abandoned in Egypt and left there to die. Throw up your hands, accept your reality, and step into your fire.

Welcome to the furnace.

What is your refining fire, friend? Subtract your hundreds of christian words and snazzy catch-phrases. Subtract your thought-out answers and empty prayer-requests and find yourself face to face with what is real. The mirror. Stare your refining fire in the face, ask for God's strength -which he eagerly gives - and then step into it and be consumed.

Avoid your fire, my friend, and you will always stand quite close by, pacing nervously and worriedly, hoping that no one will catch sight of the glow of your blaze over the hill and come to check it out. You will find the fire growing, and then realize that you are the one that has been throwing on the logs. And as the fire gets hotter, you begin to get a little burned, but not hurt enough to cause you to do something necessary to change it, to get the fire out.

Your refining fire is the only thing that will drive you to Jesus. The truth is, your refining fire is a gift - a precious gift that holds in it's fragile hands the knowledge of God. Though many call the gift a curse, it is a blessing. Though many of your fellow believers look down on you and think shaming thoughts about your smoldering logs, Jesus looks down and sees a fragrant offering. Embrace your fire, friend. Step in and be reborn.

It has taken me years to let my walls down before God (meaning trust him) and tentatively step into my fire. Last year I put one foot in and it caused great discomfort... but great life. Recently I have decided to submit myself completely to my refining fire, jump in, and be consumed.

My refining fire is homosexuality and my struggle with it. It is the only thing that will truly drive me deep into the heart of God. I can bitch about it, I can complain about it, and whine about it, and pretend that I don't deal with it. I can cry about it and waste years shaking my fist at a thousand people. Or, I can throw in the towel, accept the reality of my sin and struggle, and step into the furnace.

"Dill is not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but dill is beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised, but no one crushes it forever..." [Isaiah 28:27-28]

Step into the fire, friend, and it is if a whole gallon of gasoline has walked in with you. This is a characteristic of fire. It burns tall and bright for a short time, but will always at some point quiet itself and smolder until the logs and ashes have cooled. The furnace is not forever. The furnace is the beginning.

"This is not unto death, but for the glory of God." [John 11:4]

February 19, 2008

laughing when you aren't supposed to makes you laugh way harder

Today I visited my sister at her classroom at VVMS to do a few read-aloud sessions with her classes. I was asked to read from a book called "Blood River" - a story about some Pilgrims just arriving in the New World. The first class went well. I read five pages and enjoyed it very much. The second class (the one I just finished) didn't go so well. I actually got the giggles and had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard.

It all started when the Pilgrims I was reading about started getting sick and dying from disease. I read something about them getting "bloody diarrhea" when Jodi stopped me and asked me to write the word "diarrhea" on the white board since no one knew how to spell it. So I wrote it. Then erased it. From that point on I tried to keep a straight face but could not for the life of me not laugh! When I started to read about the meal-worms in the barley and the diseased river water I lost it. I burst out laughing and sputtered every time I tried to continue. The more terrible and serious the story grew, the funnier it was to me. One boy in the second row suggested I think about something sad... a dead puppy. I immediately thought of what I usually think of to stop laughing (eating spoonfuls of dead cats) but even that didn't work. Alas, I finally waved my white flag and handed the story over to be completed by the controlled teacher.

February 11, 2008

Do I Work Here?

I stood at a self-checkout yesterday at Cub and practically burst out laughing. As I was mid-scan through my orange juice the thought came to me… what am I doing?? I’m actually voluntarily becoming my own cashier and bagger! What are all these employees here for if I’m doing their job? Soon my imagination ran wild. I saw wild, hurried customers unloading their own groceries from the semi trucks, hauling out bushels of fruits and veggies, cartons of eggs, canisters of food. I look around the warehouse and find the different areas marked with large neon Cub-style signs. A man in a suit rushes over to the “Self-Unload” and dons his warehouse shirt, missing one button for the sake of saving time. A mother nearby scolds her whining children at the “Self-Produce Wash” for not properly washing the heads of lettuce. Across the room I notice my favorite area, the “Self-Stocker” section where busy (and lucky) men and women are actually stocking their own food on the shelves before tossing the apron, grabbing a cart, and then shopping for it.

I was once a fan of the Self-Checkout areas. Not any more. This epiphany has brought me to my senses. And I’m glad, too. I’m tired of that lady inside the machine yelling at me – and I’m tired of never knowing how to find the Roma tomatoes or organic bananas on the touch screen. AND I’m tired of feeling bad for the teenager at the “mother board,” watching all four machines with a yawn. She sighs and periodically helps a customer or two, usually the Chinese lady who pushed “Debit” instead of “Credit” while her husband chatters away about water crest nuts.

I will now wait in line like the regular customers. The time I think I am saving by using the Self-Checkout is just like the time that people think they save when using the Pay-by-Touch, apocalyptic, end-times machine... It is non-existent.

February 10, 2008

He Is Everything I Ever Wanted.

October of 2007 was a tough month. I use the word tough because it's vague, and the frustration that I felt was exactly that: vague, nameless and frustrating. Have you ever had your heart condemn you and you don't know why? It is a struggle I often face. My heart often condemns me and I have to figure out what the hell to do with it. 1 John 3:21 has been a frequent verse flying through my heart, as it ANSWERS the reality of answered prayer. Study it. Anyway, October was nameless, frustrating and often times discouraging.

The month ended at the Exodus Regional Retreat in Osceola, WI. I spent the 5 days surrounded by friends, those that I knew loved me (cognitively). And yet I found myself on the edge of exasperation as my heart condemned me to no end. And I didn't know WHY. All I knew is I felt a suppressing and overpowering weight of insecurity and shame... I knew where I stood before God - free and clear - but standing before ME was different. My heart was condemning me.

The last day of the retreat I had a breakthrough, as somehow I forced my feelings to submit to the truth and I took in a good lung-full of the truth. Immediately I stood upright before God and my heart was quiet within me. In the presence of Jesus Christ even my deceitful and fleshly heart is stilled. It has no other choice but to lay quiet when the Perfect One comes and brings the truth.

And I knew in my heart what to do right away. I walked around the room bustling with people; men and women exchanging heart-warming conference stories and sharing in close conversations, and found the two people I needed to talk to. My mentor and his wife. I pulled them aside and spoke these words: "Hi. OK, I really feel like I need to say some things to you for my benefit. You actually don't have to say anything. ...I just feel like I need to speak out the reality of this truth: that Jesus is everything I have ever wanted..."

He is everything I ever wanted.

- - - -

If you actually read this blog you probably know a little bit about me. And if you got my support letters from Outpost you probably know a little more than you thought you knew. My current journey is one of knowing Jesus Christ and walking away from homosexuality. For those of you who think that making the decision to leave same-sex attractions was a given, I assure you that is was not. Many assume it is the obvious answer, but let me be the first to tell you that it is not the obvious answer, it is the foolish answer. Let me now share the reason I have chosen to walk away from homosexuality. Actually, there is more than just one answer, but they pretty much all boil down to one. The reason is, I chose Jesus Christ first, and when I chose him, I willingly (or not so willingly) lay down my humanity. My sexuality. My personality. My identity. He is my first love, and he shall be my last.

There is nothing more foolish today than deciding to change your sexuality. And there is nothing possible about it, in a world filled with nudity, promiscuity, pornography, and dependencies. ...not to mention the satanic barrage coming from everywhere that proclaims the so-called "truths" of today. Add to those things the billion-dollar agendas and silent churches and you have the perfect environment. An environment that leaves the weakling no choice but to throw up his hands and say, "Whatever."

For those of you who know little about the gay movement (which I assume is all of you) you might be surprised to know that the majority of men and women who fill the gay bars (and are into the nightlife-type scene) were once good evangelical christian boys and girls. THAT is the reality of the struggle. Most would say, "I tried to fight it and thought I was making progress... and then I realized that I had just been suppressing everything and it was all still there." And then they do what the majority do... They throw up their hands, shake their heads and say, "Whatever." And in a few swift movements are swept away and dashed on the rocks of darkness.

So, deciding to walk away from homosexuality really is probably the most foolish thing I can think of. It is risky and dangerous, and there is always the reality of the pain and suffering that is guaranteed to come. The rejection (for one) would stop almost everyone. After making the decision to make my own sin public, several of my significant relationships were damaged, and some have never been mended. My heart hurt for a long time. Then there is the reality of personal shame. If you have struggled with insecurity you know what it's like to feel like an outsider. I can relate. And then there's God. What of this perfect and holy being? What of this just God that cannot stand the depravity of what is so imbedded into my very nature? What must he think of me?

Last summer I started my internship... and one of the requirements was that I spend 3 hours a day in prayer. I cringed. A month later I realized the reason I had been so unsure and afraid of 3 hours in prayer each day. It was not because I was ADD or afraid I would get bored. It was not because I had never done it before or because I didn't know what to pray. The simple and honest answer was that I did not know what God would say about me when I came and really just sat before him.

So what's the process of knowing God and being known by Him, to the deepness of even sexuality? For me it was quite simple, and tremendously difficult. I stopped praying what I wished I were thinking and started praying what I was actually thinking. (Caution: I am being honest.)

My mouth said, "God, I am frustrated."
What my heart actually meant was, "What the hell are you doing?"

My mouth said, "Why can't I get this right? Why am I struggling so much?"
My heart said, "This is YOUR FAULT. You made me like this... why would you do this. You call yourself a God of love. You lie."

My mouth said, "I hurt inside and I don't know why."
My heart screamed, "You are causing all of this! F*** you! You don't give a s*** about me."

Good little Christian boy? I think not. Desperate man, driven to be real before Jesus? Damn straight.

And so I faced the reality of what I really wanted to say to God... what I was really thinking... And I started saying it right to his face. (I figure he knows it anyway.) It is through that journey that has allowed God to know me. He desires honesty in the inmost parts, and that is one things I can be. Honest. Lucky for me he doesn't desire perfection or good-words or faith in the inmost parts. He desires honesty.

- - - -

And soon after exposing what I really was feeling to Him, and saying all that has bound up in my heart, I began to experience the brief realization that through all of the shtuff in my life, he, somehow, is everything that I ever wanted. And my journey now has hardly anything to do with homosexuality... it has to do with seeking Jesus and knowing his voice.

Jesus, are you still there? "I am."

January 24, 2008


v12 And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."
v13 Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"
v14 God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' " (Ex. 3:12-14)

Months ago I asked God why his name was I AM. I ask God lots of things.

"Why did you tell them that your name was I AM?" I asked.

Then I pondered. And I thought of Moses, and the million and a half questions that must have flashed through his mind during his encounter with God. "God, I am unable to any of these things! I am unable! ...Are you?"

"I AM."

He could have called himself "I CAN" or "I WILL" or even "I AM ABLE". But instead He is the I AM. He is the currently-moving, never-resting, humble King who simply IS and never will stop. I AM.

And since He is the I AM, my questions are always answered:

"God, are you even working in me?" I AM.
"God, do you care...? Are you the one you said you were?" I AM.
"God, I am nothing." I AM.
"God... Oh God, I am not." I AM.
"God, are you within me, helping me?" I AM.

And then the questions take a deep turn, and the reality of the I AM settles into my heart:

"God... put my flesh to death." I AM.
"God, take me off the cross and wrap me in gravesclothes." I AM.
"Oh God, ressurect this heart.. this life." I AM.


He was! He is! He will be!

January 23, 2008


I drove by a tree today... a tree that still had every single one of it's leaves. It was windy too, and none were blowing off. The dead, lifeless leaves were frozen to the tree and the tree didn't seem too eager to let go.

I watched the tree as I drove by and said in my mind, "You better drop your leaves, my friend. This is the winter season, the wrong time to hang on so tightly to summer's brief life. Let go. If you don't, there won't be any room for anything new to grow."

But if I let go, I will be naked. Stuck in the cold and barren soil.

But if I let go, I might die. What if no new life grows? It's better for me to cling to the dead remnants of the past than to risk having what might never come.

But if I let go, I will look like every other ordinary tree. I will have nothing that separates me out of the forest.

But if I let go, I am admitting that I can't conjure up life on my own. I will be helpless and have to admit to myself that I just can't do it.

I drove on.

And then Jesus said to me, "You better drop your leaves, my friend. This is the winter season, the wrong time to hang on so tightly to summer's brief life. Let go. If you don't, there won't be any room for anything new to grow."

January 21, 2008


Today, in honor of MLK Day, my friend and I decided that we needed to celebrate. We were at Target and decided that every time we saw an African American, we would give each other a high-five. It was very celebratory.

January 20, 2008


Last week was a terrible week. I had a really good week followed by a really terrible week... and what was so terrible about it was that I simply gave up fighting. Tired. Weary. Sick of fighting, sick of feeling like I was always losing. Sick of the journey... sick of people hurting me and hating my capacity to desire to hurt others to make myself feel better.

And so, I gave up fighting. If you know any part of my story, you know this is really really really not a good thing. To not fight is to throw myself at the feet of the evil one and his demons and (if I'm being honest) sign a waver that says: "Take me, I want to die."

Not that I want to die. I, like many others, have struggled with thoughts of suicide at times in my life. These are dark times and I wouldn't wish them on anyone, but this was not one of those times. It was just me sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, for a week I bowed my knee and for a week became the walking dead. As days past I felt as if I were walking down a long tunnel... and as I walked down the tunnel it got smaller. And the smaller it got the darker it got. And the darker it got the more room I thought I had. And what's funny about this darkness was that it was darker than the color black.

Heaven must have a million colors. Think about the rainbow surrounding the throne that the Father (Abba) sits on. "And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne." (Rev. 4:3) That rainbow must be filled with a million colors we can't even imagine. And think about it... think about how the colors dance on a lake or on the ocean... water literally sparkles with light and color. Imagine in Heaven, when we are HOME, what the brilliant colors will look like. Gosh... dancing on the sea of glass! And the sparkling river... wow. Anyway, heaven must have a million colors.

So if red has a hundred shades, and blue has a hundred shades, and yellow has a hundred shades, does black have a hundred shades?

Is there darkness a that I have never known? Is the color of black during my darkest night someone else's dusty gray? How deep can black get? How low does the shaft of death plummet on this earth? I always thought I'd been through the black night, but last week as I sat in worship one night, God spoke very clearly:

"Do you need to go deeper into the dark before you look back to me?" I had a epiphany. There was something far worse. Far, far worse than I have even imagined. And God, because of His mercy, will let me (and you) go there, if it will bring us home to him.

In Romans I read that God finally gave them over to the lusts of their flesh... and I always used to wonder why in the world God did that. What a jerk. I decided that he finally gave up on them... they were hopeless. Just time to move on. But how wrong I was! The reason God gave them over... are you listening? You have to catch this. OK. The reason He gave them over to their sin ... gave them over to their complete and total debauchery and idolatry was so that:

They would come back to Him.

And He has done and will always do the same for me. If I am dead-set on my sin... that I know best and that His way just won't cut, he will, because of his MERCY, give me over. Yes, it's the hard way (for both of us) but if it's the way home, he will lead me through it. I've had two reactions toward him because of this: I have hated him, and I have loved him.

Today I Love Him. He is my Lover.

December 11, 2007

Back from the dead...? Or still dead.

Hello faithful readers.

It has been so long. The only reason I'm actually back here writing is because tonight I saw my cousin Beth (who immediately made me do the secret cousin handshake) who reminded me about my blog.

"I have a blog?" I thought... "Well it seems I do..."

I always convince myself that my blog is a place where I am candid and real. And then I go back into my dashboard and realize that the really real blogs have been saved simply as drafts and were never posted. So the only reader that finds them is me. And I'm the one that wrote them. So I guess I was just doing private journaling or something since I never posted. Next time I'll try to remember to write my private ranting in my actual Notebook of Secrets, inside of pretending that I want the whole world to know what's scampering around inside my misshaped head.

Or maybe I do.

Maybe half of you know Me. The real me. The me that doesn't have it all together, pretends to be the "good little Christian kid" who never misses a beat, the kid who likes to think that he knows right from wrong and always does the first, the kid who so wishes that he would have never tried to be any of those things, since all of them are impossible and can drive you to a) insanity, or b) apostasy, which usually walk hand in hand.

Ever had your life explode? I have. Somewhere, sometime a while back there was some damn invisible fuse that was lit and quickly burned it's way right into the center of my Life. And why oh why didn't I notice it? Or maybe I noticed it but why didn't I care? Anyway, then, just when I thought everything was under control, my life was moving in a wonderful direction that I had a good amount of control over, just when I was happy and confident that things were swinging my way.... BOOM. I find myself barely standing, covered in soot, smoldering, and trying desperately to cling to the tiny, crumbling bits that represented... everything. Literally, everything.

For the past 4 weeks I have felt like Simon Birch. There is a scene where, in a devastating turn of events he ends up killing his best friends mother by accident. Shortly after the camera following the pitiful little fellow running as fast as possible out onto the long dock, looking out over the chilly waters of the ocean. Simon stops and simply yells, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" And turns around, shouting his pain onto no one... onto God, I guess. He is alone and devastated and the only thing his broken heart can scream is, "I'm sorry!"

For the past 4 weeks I have felt like that... like poor little Simon. Wondering, "Why me?" and so desperately wanting to run away into some cold desolate place and yell to a God who doesn't seem to answer... "I'm sorry... I'm sorry."

And a piece of my heart thinks that if I could pay enough penence I could have my life back. That God would look down and say, "Jeremy - this was just a test! The bomb didn't detonate! You have been spared!" And suddenly I would have been transported backwards and life would reset. And I would be happy... oh, I would be happy.

But I am reminded about last January as I toasted in the new year with some close friends and brothers of mine. Each of us stood and raised his glass, toasting a personal thought to the new year. I remember the day clearly since I knew exactly what I should say. Without even realizing the impact or meaning of what I was saying I stood, raised my glass and said,

"Here's to trading in happiness for joy."

And so I am granted my hearts desire.

But there is more... more to this story, and more (I pray) to come in the future.

"When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." John 11:4