Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Thursday, August 20

Today’s Readings: Psalm 144; 2 Samuel 22:21-51; Mark 11:27-33; Acts 27:39-44; Psalm 27

My journey toward wholeness was delayed tremendously by some of the messages I was sent as a young person who grew up in the church. That’s because I was told as a young person that it was not okay to be gay. As a result of that message, I went through my childhood relating to others by suppressing an important piece of my identity. I thought to myself, “If I could be perfect then other would have to love and accept me!” A funny thing happened. People did love and accept me – but their love and acceptance meant very little to me. That’s because I thought to myself, “Sure, they may say they are my friends now; but if they REALLY knew who I was, then they wouldn’t like me anymore.” The more I tried to suppress those pieces of myself that I thought were unacceptable to others, the angrier and more isolated I became. In fact, it wasn’t until I started the coming out process that I felt truly loved and accepted by others for the first time in my life. I imagine my experience paralleled David’s – for in today’s passage from 2 Samuel David noted: “God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before [God]” (2 Samuel 22:21 from The Message). As a pastor, I’ve dealt with a lot of people who think they have to edit their lives in order to be in relationship with God. They try leaving out the pieces of their journey – pieces that involve things like an addiction; an experience of abuse; or feelings they felt simply weren’t very Christian. In doing so, they developed a sort of love/hate relationship with God. On one hand, they professed a deep and abiding love of God. On the other hand, they seethed with resentment against God because they felt as if God didn’t love them for who they really were. Maybe you can relate to that. Maybe you’ve felt like you’ve had to censor your own life in order to be acceptable to God. If that’s the case, today I would invite you to do what David did: put ALL of the pieces of your life before God. If you do that, you might experience the incredible rush of being loved by God: not for who you pretend to be, but for who you REALLY are! Til next time…

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