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The Gay Deacon



First,above all else,I'm a Christian and a Deacon in an MCC Church... I'm also a liberal and I love America. I believe in speaking my mind and I do so here. If you wish to comment or contact me feel free to do so.



Updated: 2014-10-15T07:38:22.194-05:00

 



ITS YOUR DUTY TO VOTE SEE BELOW

2008-10-21T12:04:31.492-05:00

AARP 08 Video
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About Time!

2008-04-23T22:11:38.054-05:00

I have not posted in a long, long time. "Why?" you ask.
Let me tell. It is personal, and it is because I felt uneasy about some of the hits I received after my posts criticizing the Bush administration. Enough said.
But I am going to post again, and I am going to post about something very dear to my own heart. Politics.
This years Democratic primary has been a fascinating experience for me.
I was deeply interested in the candidates and their qualifications. I had a favorite. Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards were almost a tie. First I favored one,then the other.
I knew that Kucinich did not really stand a chance in the long run, and I really didn't think that Edwards did either.
At that time I always said that I would be happy with either Hillary or Obama.
They were the two candidates who stood the best chance of defeating the current administration. That is, and always has been, the most important thing in my mind.
The most important thing is to defeat the Republican power machine.
At different times I prefered one , then the other.
Mostly it was Obama, but it largely depended on the last speech I heard, or the last point that one made.
At the time of the Texas primary I decided that I prefered Obama on most issues, but I liked Hillary's health care plan better.
I actually voted for Obama, but liked both.
Then I discovered some intresting facts. The largest contributors to both Hillary and McCain were large corporations. Obama's contributions mostly came from small donors, everyday working people who believed in what he said.
Think about it, if a politition is supported by a big company and a vote comes up which affects that company, what is the politition likely to do? There is an old saying"Dance with him who brought you". If the politition wants to be supported again in the next election they have to remember which side their bread is buttered on.
Then I heard on Air America Radio that an article tracing the sources of the largest contributors to all candidates found that Hillary and McCain were largely supported by the same companies.
In fact, I work for the biggest one of all!
That drove home the biggest point of all. I want a candidate who is independent. he can vote for against any company. He can always folow his own beliefs.
That is Obama. that is who I support and I ask you to do the same.

If you study history you see that countries rise in importance and power. Then they stay level and begin to drop again, only to be replaced by another. Greece, Rome, France, great Brittan, the United States.
We have reached our peak and have began to descend under the administration we now have.
The basic human rights guaranteed to all citizens have begun to deteriorate under Bush. Habeas Corpus is dead. The government spys on our citizens. The future American citizens have worked hard for is being robbed out from under them.
The oil companies make obscene profits every quarter. Each one a new record! And I have reached the point that I have to cut out medical expenses and lower all my expenses in order to pay my bills.
I may have to quit going to Church one week a month because I can't afford the gas!
In the year 2000 I always had an extra $1000 in my checking account. I paid my bills, I saved, I tithed, I helped others who were less fortunate than me. I was always ahead. if I wanted to buy a new toy I did.
Not now. We no longer eat out, we never go anywhere becuse we cant afford gas. Our diet has changed. Steak is out.
And we are not alone. People everywhere are losing their homes.
If we are to turn this country around we have to take hold now! We Must take back our country from big profit executives whose companies go bankrupt but still give them $40 Million dollar bonuses.
To do this we need a leader who will stand up for the average American citizen.
That man is Barack Obama.



0 Comments

2007-08-16T07:20:31.248-05:00

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New Project

2007-08-13T00:19:18.990-05:00

After laying off for an extended period, I have decided that I need to express myself again.Things have continued to happen that influenced me and affected me. I just did not write about them.The political situation is a mess and I have plenty to say about it.I could point out that we spend $1600 per second in Iraq. But we can't spend enough on our countries infrastructure to prevent needless tragedy. The steam pipe in New York, the bridge in Minneapolis. The levees in New Orleans. All these things are a typical example of the problems presented when the administration decides that they need to make the public forget that we have a war going on.Higher taxes to keep our country working smoothly would cut down on the spending on the war or would make the voters have to sacrifice for the war to continue.The public is not supposed to inconvenienced by the war. They might try to end it. This is not what the president and his big corporate cronies want.They make money off the war.Why do you think that the news crews are not allowed to show the caskets of the fallen soldiers being brought home or buried?The war must not inconvenience the voters.But enough of that. Other things have come up to get me to write again.Our church is going to do a really great thing to make a difference in the world. The idea came from Jesus MCC in Indianapolis. Our Pastor and others heard a lot about it at the recent MCC Conference in Arizona and decided that we should do it in Dallas.This program features billboards with the message "Would Jesus Discriminate?" it has a web address for people to look to see more.At the website we will provide information and scripture readings for people to read. We hope that reading these scriptures from our viewpoint will educate people.When it was done in Indianapolis there were before and after polls done which showed that it actually made a significant change in the opinions of the general public.Of course the fundamentalists protested, there were news stories on tv and in the papers. This just helped the program to work. The more people talked about it the more people went to the website. More of them read the passages in the bible which were written about gays in biblical times, and which prove that Jesus knew and interacted with gays in a positive fashion. These passages need to be pointed out.People generally learn to discriminate out a lack of education. If you educate them they understand and their attitudes change. As the Reverend Elder Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches ( The largest denomination in the world of churches that have an outreach to the LGBT population) says, People need to read the Bible with new eyes. The churches and leaders that preach hatred of gays today are the descendants of the same people and churches that preached discrimination against black people in the past.It seems incredible today that there used to be laws keeping racially mixed couples form marrying! What changed? The people learned to read the bible through new eyes and developed a new understanding of what the Bible really says.People need to be educated. That's how you go about changing the world.The church's site will serve as the primary focus, but the blog will enable people to read comments from gay Christians about how their own lives are affected.[...]



An Open Letter to the Democrats

2007-05-28T09:34:37.376-05:00

I finally gave in and I'm back. I am mad about politics again. This time it's the Democrats I'm mad at!
This is an open letter to Harry Reid and the rest of the DEMs in congress.

First. Why do you think the Democrats were given a majority in the last elections?
Because we want you to end this war! We want the current administration to be fought at every turn and we want you to take back our country!

You don't do this by caving to Bush because of a single veto!

Putting reasonable expectations on the funding bill is exactly the right move. If Bush vetos it again, send it back again.
The Dems will not be responsible for failing to fund the troops. You will have met the funding requests for the war.
George will be at fault because he will not have accepted some reasonable guidelines toward ending the war, which is the wish of the majority of Americans, as expressed in the last election.

If you let him set the rules of the game then you will be going against the clear wishes of those who gave the Democrats the majority.
Let me put it simple language which any politician should be able to understand.
You want to be re-elected. To do this you need money, votes , and people to work for you at the grass roots level.
If you continue to cave in to Bush you will not be doing what you were elected for, and your support will dry up and you will not be re-elected again.
In fact,I and most like minded voters will work for the election of other people,either Democrats or independents, or even a Republican. As long as they pledge to do as WE wish and fight and remove the lying, dishonest people now in the White House.
Its that simple. Your voting record will be the determining factor.

How many more young Americans must loose their lives in an unjust war in a country who does not even want us there? Even one more young hero's death is too much.

We elect you, we support you. Think it Over! Deacon Harry



Troy Perry Film

2007-01-27T15:43:21.024-06:00

Check out the new movie trailer for "Call Me Troy"a film about Troy perry the founder of the MCC Denomination and one of my heros.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5tvATGIT64
This man has done more than anyone else to combat the mis-conception that you cannot be gay and Christian. He has brought a new understanding to many and has also been a tireless worker for the human rights of gays everywhere.. The film is to be released this spring and should be a great viewing experience.



Rumor Campaign Starts

2007-01-27T15:29:59.952-06:00

Sorry, I've been really busy and haven't had time to post lately.
Did you see the recent story on Fox News about Barack Obama having gone to school in a madrassa in Indonesia when growing up? A madrassa is a school which teaches very fundamentalist type Muslin religion.

This story was first published in "Insite Magazine" a little read right wing propaganda rag. They claimed that the tidbit was picked up by a worker in the Hillary Clinton campaign. Then the New York Post, a Murdoch owned newspaper made it a headline and FOX news, Rupert Murdoch's personal news slanting machine, picked up the story and featured it in a newscast, trumpeting that Hillary Clinton was making the accusations.They however, did not name a single person within the Clinton camp as a source.

The facts are that the magazine is published by the "Washington Times", which is generally considered to be a right wing tool.
No one at any point tried to check out the facts of the allegation .
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have labeled the rumor to be a right wing hatchet job.

CNN on the other hand sent a reporter to visit the school and reports that it is a state run school with Christian, Muslims,Buddhist and Confucian students. The principal says that while they treat all religions with respect, they do not favor religions.The majority of the students are Muslin because the are is mostly Muslin.

This, unfortunately, is just the beginning. The fundamentalist right will ramp up as the election nears and we will see a really major campaign of mis-information coming our way.
Personally, I NEVER watch Fox News because of it's consistent slanted and inaccurate reporting. I would encourage you to do the same.



Pray for Change

2007-01-11T20:19:51.061-06:00

I have a friend who I love very much who has many troubles. She prays and asks God for help. Then she wonders why He doesn't change everything the way she expects .She will pray about changing her life several times a day and wonder why nothing happens.Why doesn't a change happen? First we must look at the rest of her life. What does she do between prayers? She continues her life as before. She does everything the same way she always has. Nothing she does in her life changes.Oh, she may make some small changes, but she doesn't really grab the bull by the horns and say"what I've been doing for years hasn't worked, I'm going to approach everything from a different direction in a different way." She doesn't even ask God for direction.Instead of doing everything the same and waiting for God to change her life she needs to make a big effort herself.There are two absolute truths I have learned about praying for God's help:1. If you don't ask him he won't help you. 2. If you don't make a real try to to reach your goal or fill your needs yourself he won't help you.If you sincerely ask God for help every day and mean it He will listen. The more you ask the more he will listen. God may move things for you somewhat as a part of his major plan, but if you don't try to change things on your own not much is going to happen.If you have an obstacle to overcome you must really try to do it on your own.If you sit on one side of the mountain and say to yourself"Gee, I've heard its great over there. There are streams of milk and honey and the streets are paved with gold. I hope God will move me there."What's God's reaction? He says "No you don't, if you wanted to go over there you'd start climbing."God rewards effort. He will help those who first help themselves. If you expect God to do everything for you then then you are in for a disappointment.If you are doing a lot of good work for God, helping His master plan then he may reward you. But, He may reward you with more things you can do to bring Him Glory.( That is your real purpose in life anyway. You were created to bring God glory.)If you want more than that you must get up and get to work.You know, I started this post because of a recent dialy devotional post my pastor sends out on the net every day.I read his message and thought, "You know, there is a lot in this messagethat might help several people I know."I started writing this with that in mind. About halfway through however It began to soak in to me that this message may have been planted in my mind by God, I have had a lot of real major problems in my life for thelast year and I have prayed repeatedly for God's help.I have alos prayed something that I started praying a few years ago based on the Prayer Of Jabez. I asked the Lord to expand my territory so that I may do more to serve him. ( Check out the popular book "The Prayer Of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson, it can be a real blessing in your life)I have prayed this for a long time and it has always worked.I asked Him to let me serve Him and he has done it in so many ways that I am amazed! The best moments in my life have been spent in service to God.I have to ask myself now, "Why has he answered those prayers and not the others for calling His help in my own struggles?"Could it be that he is still waiting for me to do more to try to change thngs on my own so that he may help me? Or am I still living according to His plan for my life. Am I destined to be changed in some way by the obsticales I am fighting so that I might better fit into His plan?" They are dragging me down in some ways, but is this His plan for me?I guess I will be doing a lot more praying for awhileAnd maybe a lot more trying too.God Bless. Deacon Harry[...]



Calling Rev Barnes

2006-12-18T18:24:40.736-06:00

"Its happened again. First it was Ted Haggard. Last week the Rev Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in South Denver announced that he was stepping down as pastor of his big mega church.

" I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year old boy." Barnes said."I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away".

Barnes said that he became a Christian at age 17 and felt that it would help him to give up homosexuality. Of course the feelings never went away.

He still believes that a person is not born "that way".

If he knew of his sexuality at 5 years old what did he think made him gay?
Does he not believe that the Lord is perfect and does not make mistakes? Has he ever considered that if the Lord would not change him it must be because he does not need to be changed?

I wish these fundamentalists would look at the excellent literaturee available on the MCC Church website, http://www.mccchurch.org
and other places. Read the information, study it, look at the passages in the Bible themselves. Read it with new eyes. Could it be that they have misunderstood what the bible says?

Not that many years ago the fundamentalists could show you Biblical passages proving that the white man was superior to the black man. They could prove to you that God approved of slavery!

What changed? Was the Bible re-written? Did God change his mind?
No, the readers re-examined the passages and read them with new eyes and found out that they had been mis-interpreting them all along.

The same is true of homosexuality. Fundamentalists have been wrong for years.

I was taught wrong as a child myself, and hid my true identity from the world untill I was in my mid 30's. How much did I hurt myself? Why did I not accept the truth sooner? I personally feel that my own case it was a part of God's plan. He was showing me things that I would later need when I became his servant.

I now know that God was right, I was wrong. I pray that Rev. Barnes will finally come to accept who he is. He is God's child and God loves him as He made him. I hope that he will accept that this too is part of God's plan. I pray the Rev Barnes will accept his new identity and move on in service to God.

He seems, from what I have read and seen of him, to be an honest, decent Christian man. He deserves to be truly happy in service to his Creator.

I would also encourage any others who read this and are denying themselves a chance to lead an honest life to think, study, pray and accept yourself as God made you.

Deacon Harry



The 25th Year of AIDS

2006-12-01T22:27:06.913-06:00

It,s the evening of World AIDS Day and I still haven't posted anything special for it. I have hoped all day long that I would get a sudden inspiration but it hasn't happened. So, I'll just have to tell it from the heart.

World AIDS Day means so much to me because of those I love who have passed, those I know now living with the disease, those whom I hope we can save from contacting it and especially because of the person I share my life with, who has AIDS.

I have been the primary caregiver for two people whom I love. The first, my nephew Pat, was one of the early persons to contact what was then known as G.R.I.D. My partner Dan was diagnosed in 1991. I have been a support person to many more.

We have been together since then. We have had lots of ups and downs, but his fighting spirit and never quit attitude are inspiring to me. (Look back in the archives to one of my first posts, "My hero's") or click on the link for the BIKEBOYS site for more about him and all he does.

I could never begin to list all the people I have known who have lost their lives to this disease. The effect of seeing a beautiful human being become so ill and waste away has a tremendous effect on your inner being.
To hold someone you love in your arms as they ask you for permission to let go and die is something you never get over.

I will always have a sad part of me that forever mourns the losses. But we who mourn have an obligation too.

We must urge our new Democrat controlled congress to pass new bills, to spend more funds on research to treat and find a cure and to educate and prevent the spread of this pandemic.

We must insist the the Bush administrations policy of pushing abstinence-only programs be halted. These programs do not work and only cause a drain of finds and efforts from programs which teach prevention in a more realistic approach.

WE must insist that people in Africa and other areas in the third world should receive more funds and support.

These are the facts:
Forty thousand persons become infected every year in the US.

Of those living with AIDS in the US 1/3 to 1/2 are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among those between 15-59 WORLDWIDE!

HIV/AIDS has become the 3rd leading cause of death among all diseases.

An estimated 35.9 million people worldwide are living with AIDS.

Over 25 million people have died of AIDS worldwide.

There are more than 12 million AIDS orphans in Africa.

Check out the link at the begins of this post for more figures.

So, as World AIDS Day fades, we must do our part to help, in the name of those who are no longer with us.

Posted with Love for Pat & Scott, and for so many others. Deacon Harry



World AIDS Day revisited

2006-12-01T03:30:13.720-06:00

This is a post I wrote for World AIDS Day in 2005. Due to power problems from the weather I lost most of the evening being unable to post anything new, so I thought that I would repost up this old post.If things work out I hope to add another post after work today.World AIDS Day is always a special day for me as I remember my past friends and loved ones and pray for an end to AIDS.Thursday, December 01, 2005 World Aids Day.....Today is World AIDS Day. The numbers are staggering. More than 40 Million people worldwide have AIDS! AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981. 3.9 million people died from AIDS last year alone and another 4.9 million became infected.(figures are from a recent U.N. report)In the US the number of new cases reported every year has remained more or less stable from 2001 to 2003. However, the number began to rise again since 2003.Every hour 2 more young Americans are infected with AIDS!The Human Rights Campaign issued a report card on our governments efforts this year. See http://www.hrc.org for the details.The main point is that our government rated an "F"in 2 of 4 categories, prevention and care & treatment. They only managed a D in research and a C in Global AIDS. The HRC has a online link to allow you to email your elected officials and let them know that this is not acceptable. Please use it.On a personal level:I have had far too many friends who have died from this disease.I have also been involved as a caregiver and/or advisor to several persons.My nephew Pat moved here from Iowa at age 17 so that he could come out and live life as the man he was. This was in the early 1980s. He and I became very close and it was extremely hard to take when he became infected with "GRID" (Gay Related Immune Disorder ) as it first was known. There was almost no knowledge and there were no treatments for it. All the doctors could do was to treat the symptoms by trying to keep the fevers down, etc.I used to get up at night and hold him as he shook with"night sweats. "Then I would change his sheets and he would go back to bed. I never felt so helpless in my life. Someone I loved deeply was so ill and I couldn't do anything! I had a nurse-call button clipped to his sheets and an intercom mounted to the wall by his bed so he could call me when he needed me. When AZT was released we were so happy that at last there was something he could take. However the first meds were all so toxic that they caused their own problems. He had to use suppositories to fight the nausea had to keep a pan beside his bed all the time. It was a horrible experience to watch him slowly die. His death was the hardest I had ever faced. My parents had lived their lives and it was much easier to take. Pat, was so young,and I loved him so much. I would ask myself frequently "Why him? Why can't it be me?"Pats ex, Scott, had become my best friend. Of course he was also infected, although he lived with his family and not with me, I was very involved in his illness. I was the one he talked to and asked advice of. Over a several year period I watched him get slowly worse. The HIV meds always had bad side effects on him and he was always miserable.Finally he became infected with CMV and lost the vision first in one eye then another. He entered a hospice program where they kept him comfortable but made no efforts to prolong his life. I was the only pallbearer at his funeral who was not a family member.About this time Dan( my partner) became infected. When he was first diagnosed in 1990 he already had an opportunistic infection, Cryptoccal Meningitis. He was deathly ill and I had to run IV's for him every night at home. He has been hospitalized several times and I have seen his weight drop as low as 110 lbs. Now he weighs about 160 and looks good[...]



A Special Thanksgiving.

2006-11-23T20:49:50.010-06:00

First, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope yours was as good as mine.I had a unique experience last night. I slept on the floor of our church, right in front of the alter....Let me explain.You see every year our church has a thanksgiving dinner for our members and friends and their friends.This started a few years ago when it occurred to me that many in our community have no real family to spend the holidays with. It can be a real "bummer" to spend a holiday alone.First I invited friends to my house for a thanksgiving potluck dinner. I made the big items, turkey, dressing and gravy, etc and others brought a side item.Then a few years ago, when our church rented a new bigger place to worship, we suddenly found ourselves with a real commercial kitchen with 4 ovens and a big stove.So, we held a big dinner and invited lots of people. Now after 2 years in our own building we are still continuing the tradition. I love to cook and everyone says I'm quite good. So, I cook the big items and everyone else brings sides. Our new Church home has a bigger kitchen than my house so I cook my portion at church.Last year I had to get up at 3 am and drive in 40 miles to cook dinner and have it ready on time.( after turning in at 11:30 pm.) This year I thought that I would try a radical new approach. I decided to spend the night at church.You see, it sounds simple and logical. Dan and I arrived at church about 10:30. After unloading and making sure that everything was set up we went to bed. I did not have to get up until 5:30 am to get it all ready on time.Of course we have no sleeping quarters there, but no problem there is a couch in the social hall where Dan slept. I decided that I would try sleeping in the sanctuary. The pew cushions have fairly comfortable pads. I also joked to the pastor that it would not be the first time I have slept in a pew.Actually, I put the cushions from 4 pews on the floor in the front of the church and made a bed 2 cushions wide and 2 high. It was really quite comfortable.I turned out the lights and found that there was enough light coming in through the stained glass windows to make it easy to sleep, but I could still see objects fairly well.As I laid there and looked up at the alter and the cross of my church home from a different perspective a strong feeling hit me.I needed to pray.First I prayed I'm going to sleep with you tonight Lord. But I immediately realized that I sleep with Him every night. He is always there watching over me.So, I tried again. I told Him that it was really an overpowering feeling to be there at the alter where I worship him weekly.Yes, I worship him continually anyway. I talk to him lots of times every day and I thank him for the blessings he gives me constantly. I ask him for help and guidance and for him to bless others.But this was different....I don't quite know how to explain it.This time, here I was in our darkened church in front the alter that I love so much.I felt my soul open up in such a powerful awareness of His presence. I talked to him for a long time.I thanked him for the everlasting gift of His Grace.I told him that I am in awe that he loves me in spite of all terrible things I have done in my past.I told Him that I am so overwhelmed as I look back in retrospect to the dark first 40 years of my life when I denied His existence and declared that I was an atheist. He was there,loving me, guiding me and leading me to the period of my life since I gave myself to Him. He loved me even though I denied Him!He equipped me so perfectly for the ministries of service to him that he has led me to now. I feel so unworthy of His love, and I am based only on my own actions, but because He gave his life for me on the Cross I am indeed worthy of His love. His Grace is truly the greatest gif[...]



Now I can Cheer

2006-11-09T06:10:02.293-06:00

It was announced that Jim Webb won in Virginia. The Democrats now have controll of the senate. Now I can relax and feel better. We have started the process of taking our country back.

It will take years to undo the damage that Bush/Cheney and their rubber stamp legislature have done to our coutry.

We have shown the world that we can and will rectify our mistakes. Of course some hearings need to be held about the corruption in the adminstrative branch.
But now they can be held. I expect that they will be. If they aren't then I will be extremely supprised.

It would not be at all supprising if impeachment were not a possibility. The "Decider" allowed and encouraged the events and policies of the government to happen. Ultimately he is responsible. He should be held accountable.

God Bless America!



I'M ON A HIGH! (almost)

2006-11-08T21:17:08.796-06:00

After the election yesterday I am really on a "high". It looks as if my country, the America I love at least has a chance of coming back.

The Republicans have lost controll of the house and probably the senate. Rumsfield is out. Everything looks much better than it has for years.

So why am I still aprehensive? I should be elated. Well, do you remember the election in Florida so many years ago when the Republicans stole the election?
Do you really believe that the outcome there was totally honest? If you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you.
I hate to sound so cynical, but some people named Bush made me feel that way, along with a man named Cheney

Was it really just a coincidence that when the election was lost the republicans had a recount that streched on forever as we heard about stciking chads? And of course this was in the state governed by the other little Bush child.

So this time there is a recount in Virginia, a state where the Republicans have always seemed so strong. This recount will determine if the Democrats controll the senate or if it will be a tie. Bear in mind that in case of a tie Cheney, as vice president will cast the deciding vote on any key bills.

So, now we will still wait as we wonder will it be Webb or Allen.

I am still worried. But on the other hand, if things go like they seem to we might actually take back the country.

We will still have Bush & Cheny in power for 2 more years, but they may be intresting years.

Accountability may return to government. The Congress may finally look into the contractor awards handed down in Iraq. How about the incredible profits taken by the petroleum industry? They definitely need to be investigated.

How about the grovernment spying on its citizens?
Every time I post anything critical of the Administration my hit counter reports a large spike in hits from "ünkown isp""unknown location"unknown , unknown, unknown.

It's really strange that my little blog would be noticed, but it happens. I can show you the results.

(Yes, people who think that you are anonimous on the web, I can tell a lot about you.) Not your name or adress,or any real personal information. but a lot. In fact, I think that this might be a good topic for a post sometime.
I hope I am not scaring you, its just the truth. Even though I may not know who you are I begin to recognize a lot of repeat visitors. I also appreciate every one of them. In a few cases when they are friends or family I can easily tell who they are.

Anyway, I digress, lets all celibtrate! Things are on an upswing.
By the way, did you know that a recent news service poll showed that most residents of third world countries consider George Bush to be a bigger threat to world peace than any of the leaders in the middle east.
It's about time that we changed that! God Bless America! Deacon Harry



A full tank and a new fire

2006-11-04T22:27:36.330-06:00

I have been very down lately, and the 3rd anniversary of our service as a deacon is due on Nov. 16.A few weeks ago our pastor gave out forms to answer and send back to him. The biggest question on the form was did we wish to continue as deacons.I did not send mine back and was unsure if I wanted to continue.My job and my home situation were taking a lot out of me. My income had dropped so much in the previous year that I was unable to pay all my bills. I went into severe depression because of not paying the bills and I have quit paying one for ever. It was a credit card which I had many years ago with a company which had a clearance house that was was not crediting payments on time. They were found out and it was all over nationwide TV. However no restitution was ever made to those who were charged major late charges repeatedly and ended up owing thousands in piled up invalid late charges.I knew that I was going to be buying a new new home in the next few years and did not wish to damage my credit rating. As a compromise I went through a debt consolidation agency and paid lower payments for almost 10 years. That is the bill I quit paying. I will have no credit now.This year my employer has cut out all overtime, taken away my company car and done a few other tricks which have resulted in about a 10k loss of income. I am almost 62 and several companies that wanted me when I was 59 are no longer interested. I have sent my resume around to a lot of companies and no one is interested in an employee with 25 years experience who is still one of the very best there is at what I do.I have become very bitter about it, but I cannot afford to quit because I still have bills and am the major income in our household. Dan is on disability and cannot hold a job. I had to start taking my heart medications only every other day because I could not afford to pay the renewals all at once.On top of this Dan is suffering from major depression so when I come home from work the house is a major mess and he is in bed all the time. I am encouraging him to seek help and he may be beginning to make minor strides at improving.I felt that I needed to make some changes in my life. What I really wanted to do at times was to get in my car and drive off into the sunset and not look back.So, on top of the work and home situations I was losing interest in my duties as a deacon and in all the other things that used to keep me going full speed ahead.(This blog included)When we received the letter I told God in prayer that my service as a deacon was in His hands. I would not officially quit until Nov 15. If He wanted me to stay He needed to help me.After many tearful and long nights in prayer things have started to improve. Although I have not had a major increase in income, a change in upper management has resulted in a small raise. There are major changes in corporate structure looming due to a major corporate buy-out at work.God, in his own special way, managed to get my best friend Rebecca involved in talking to me nightly. She is truly a blessing to me and to all who she meets.I started looking at what I was doing with my life and I had to admit that the things that made me truly happy were the things I did in His name.Last weekend we went to a retreat in Dickinson TX called Excell. It is based on the Catholic Crusillo movement from Spain and teaches you how to live in unison with God, how to spread his word and his love and how to lead in your church.The first time I attended about 4 years ago I had never even done a scripture reading in church because of shyness and lack of self confidence. 3 months later I spoke before a lay conference of over a hundred delegates from 9[...]



A Black Day for America

2006-10-21T07:39:12.560-05:00

I know its been a long time since I have posted. I have been very busy, but I have also been suffering from severe depression.The causes of the depression could be a post or 2 or 3 by themselves, but I don't know if I want to go into it that deep at this time.I have had some thoughts lately that I wanted to post about, but it just seemed like too much trouble.(The depression)Here is what drew me out, against my better judgement:Oct 16 was one of the absolute blackest, days in American history. On that day our President signed one of the worst pieces of legislation in the history of the USA> America lost one of the most fundamental rights we have.Anyone can now be arrested, held in secret for life, and tortured with absolutely no recourse. Their families might never know what happened to them. They have absolutely no recourse. They do not have to be proven guilty of anything. There is no trial required. The persons arrested have no rights whatsoever. All that has to happen is for them to called an "enemy combatant". It doesn't have to be proven, they just have to be declared to be an enemy.They have no right to protest or demand proof in court.Thay can held for life !I have one question, "What happened to America?" I am absolutely livid with the congress that passed this totally, completely, Un-American piece of trash. Everyone of them should be removed from office immediately and become victims of their own immoral legislation.The right of habeas Corpus is supposed to be a fundamental right of all Americans. It is guaranteed in the constitution and the Bill Of Rights.George Bush and the Republicans have succeeded in lowering this country to the level of absolute trash."W" now has the same privileges as Hitler, and all the worst people in the history of the world. I cannot believe that the American people stood still and let this atrocity happen.What has happened to the country I love? Is the USA dying internally because a bunch of lying radicals have deceived them into believing that the bogeyman is after them? Has no one noticed that the USA reacted to 9-11 by attacking an innocent country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the hijackings while we let the real jackals get away? Less than one year after 9-11 Bush said in a press conference as he told us what a horrible man Saddam was. "The Ayatollah? I almost never think about him anymore."I can only say that I am no longer proud of what this country is becoming. All the American soldiers who died in all the wars in our history are probably rolling over in their graves right now.I urge everyone out there to clean house in the coming elections. Ths Democrats are not necessarily always the best person for every office, but they are always the better choice over the Republicans because they are the only ones who really stand a chance to defeat them.So for the sake of the dying America with our vital freedoms please vote the Republicans out of office.Then we must wait for the Supreme Court to declare that the horrible piece of trash bill is un-constitution.That is the only hope that America has. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to write about politics at all anymore,because it upsets me. I was going to try to write about spiritual matters, and about my love of God. But I was weak and I gave in to anger and disgust.I am sorry if I offend anyone, and I am sorry that I let those in power, whom I detest, get my goat so much. The internment of the innocent Japanese in WWII is the only act i can think of off hand that I find to be anywhere as offensive.I am ashamed of the country that I love.I am thankfull, on the otherhand, that I am old. There are a lot of [...]



The Encounter

2006-09-18T16:08:11.110-05:00

"Would your church welcome me?"she asked.
"Yes, of course,"I replied.
She sat down beside me."But you don't know who I am! You don't understand what I am!"she said.
She was about 6'4" and dressed in a housecoat and worn slippers. She had reddish-brown hair and a five o'clock shadow. She was ugly appearing, but she was beautiful inside.
She was a trans lady in an inpatient mental health facility. She was in a program specializing in LGBT patients with alcohol/drug abuse and depression problems. These patients had hit rock bottom. They were unable handle their lives and problems, and usually they were so down that all belts, shoestrings, razor blades(hence the 5 o'clock shadow) had been taken from them when they checked themselves in hoping to prevent suicides while they were being treated.
During their stay they are given physc-drugs and take part in group sessions and one on one meetings with the caring doctors and staff.
The care they receive is designed to help them turn their lives around.
I was there as part of the treatments. Once a month our church takes turns with other churches in having a team, 2-4 persons in our case, come in and visit with the patients in a session discussing their spiritual lives. We were there to answer questions and give advice to any patients who came in for the "group".
Of course the most common question we face is always"Does God really love me as who I am?".
The majority of GLBT persons have heard since they were old enough to know that they were " different" that God does not love them. They are doomed to hell.
We are prepared to answer them with a positive answer. We explain Grace to them. We go over the scriptures with them answering questions and showing them what the scriptures really say.
I usually point out to them that the same church authorities who today condemn gays could have been heard in the 1800's saying that God approved of slavery. There was nothing wrong with it. The white-man was "created superior by God. " They could quote scriptures proving it!
Time and a newer way of interpreting the scriptures has changed their minds. With time and education their opinions of gays will change too.
This one though had a harder time that most dealing with it.
I assured her that of course I could read her. I knew that she was a Trans and I didn't care and God didn't care.
I assured her that God does not make mistakes. God knew who she was before she was even born.
While my partner talked to the others she and I had our own conversation. I explained that God loves all His children. I told her that I have a couple of trans friends and that I love them both very much.
I always carry handouts dealing with these subjects and I left them with her to read over after I was gone.
Before the session was up we were both in tears.
I will probably never hear about her again. She was from a city over a thousand miles away. I do think of her from time to time. Did she turn her life around? Did she start attending church and give her self to Christ?
But, there is one thing I know for sure. For a short time on one night God put the two of us together so that I could deliver his message to her.
A message that I never tire of repeating , a message of acceptance and of love and of eternal life..
God Bless you..Deacon Harry



Last Saturday

2006-09-02T20:48:09.860-05:00

This is what I did last Saturday.In then group photo left I am in the middle row with the black shirt and grey/silver hair & beard, Dan is in back in the yellow cap holding the sign and Rebecca a very special person is front row right, she is my mentor, friend, teacher, and a wonderful person.This was the counter to an ex-gay conference held at Vista Ridge Baptist Church in nearby Carrollton. Details of the event are in the previous psot.This was my first time at an event of this nature. I detest these groups, because of what they preach and what they put people through.They say that you cannot be gay and have a relationship with God. This absolutely untrue. They also claim that you can "heal yourself" through prayer. You can't fix what isn't broken!God did not make gays so He would have someone to hate. He does not work that way. He does not hate anyone. He loves all his children, just the way He made them.The American Physchiatric Associattion say that being gay is not an illnes. It is just another natural way to be.Ws stood around the driveway entrance as the cars pulled in for the confrence. The entrance had several signs saying that God made gay the way they are. and its ok.We waved to the cars pulling in and some of the people waved back. Others scowled at us and tried to pretend that they did not see us.Some of the cars actually stopped and discussed the topic with us. A few people walked back out from the church entrance to talk to us. One man in particular came out and mentioned his wife to us. He was flaming! He did thank us for not creating a big scene.Some of the cars had young people in the back seat. It was intresting to watch their behaviour. Some looked at us very intently and I wondered if they were thinking"Could I actually be one of them? " I believe that some of them wanted to join us.I also think that some of them really thought that they are sick and perverted. They hope that they could be "healed" so that they might win their parents love. These were probably the ones who tried to pretend that they didn't see us. They were afraid that we would "rub off"on them.No wonder the suicide rate is so high in young gay teens!I felt very sorry for them. It really broke my heart to think of the heartaches they have ahead of them.As for the success rate of these groups, Exodus International is the largest and s"parent"group of the Ex-Gay groups. one of the funniest happenings was in 1979 when co founders Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee left the group. They eventually had a "gay wedding"!Another of their leaders was photograped in a "crusing"in a New york gay bar.One of the people at the protest was at one time in one of these groups. He eventually left and is noe the Lay leader of another Metroplex MCC Church.My first inclination when I heard of thsi event was to sleep in. However I could not do that and be true to myself.I am glad I went. If there is even a chance that we may have reached some of these people then it was worth standing in the hot Texas sun for a while.Deacon Harry[...]



Protesting The Ex Gay movement

2006-08-24T21:26:48.013-05:00

Our pastor posted an email on our church Yahoo group from Wayne Besen, Executive Director of TruthWinsOut.org" a non-profit think tank and educational organization the debunks the "ex-gay myth"and provides accurate information about the lives of of GLBT people."

Wayne, the author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth", is asking that involved members of our community join him to counter a conference that is taking place at the Vista Ridge Baptist Church in Carrollton, Tx a local community.

The event is to take place this Saturday, meeting at 8:15 am at the church with the goal of meeting conference-goers with GLBT affirming signs untill 9:30 am..

If you live in this area I would like to invite you to come join us. Be sure to introduce yourself. (my picture is on the header of this blog).

This is to be a quiet andpeacefull protest. So I don't expect trouble or troublemakers.

I feel that with the constant message that I put out that we owe it to the youngsters to set an example and show them that it is "OK To Be Gay" I have to be there. (I know that that is part of the reason our pastor posted it.)

I am involved in a special ministry at my Church. Along with another Deacon I co-lead a group which goes to an in hospital treatment program for alcohol, drug abuse and depression for GLBT persons. This is a nationwide program with 3 hospital treatment programs across the country.

The biggest thing all these people always want to know is "does God really love ME?".
These people have grown up hearing from society that its bad to be "One of them".
They have been put down and abused by so many family members and friends, & they have been preached straight to hell from the pulpit.
It's no wonder that they have problems.

We always assure them that they are ok. God does love them and there is a real, meaningfull, future out there for them.

These Ex-Gay groups preach that you can change, that being Gay is strictly a lifestyle choice. If you pray enough God will change you.

The problem is that these groups do not recognize that God did not make gays so He would have someone to hate.

God does not do that. You are the way that you are because God made you that way and He does not make mistakes. God loves ALL his children, just the way He made them.

If you could really change, gays would have died out centuries ago. No one would choose to be different and boppresseded.

John 3-16 does not say that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever EXCEPT GAYS beleveth in him should not die, but should have eternal life!

Just remember one thing, these groups that condem gays today are the same ones who preached that slavery was ok 150 years ago. They could read you scripture passages that proved tha Blacks were inferior creatures put here to be used.
That was then...
Time and a better interpretation of the scriptures has made them change their minds now. So now they attack GLBT persons.
This too will change, but we have to help speed the process up. We do this through speaking the truth. We do this by educating the rest of the world.
If every successful, happy LGBT person in America made a pledge to be completely open to everyone they know, especially their straight friends, and co-workers, the predjudice would end in our lifetimes.



Global Warming

2006-08-05T17:34:57.176-05:00

Pat Robinson has now said that the extreme heat lately has convinced him that global warming is a real threat after all.
If he changed his mind solely because of the heat and not because of the overwhelming evidence that supports global warming then he is still showing himself to be kind of a simpleton. But at least he has been right for once.

Evidence presented from all over the globe has shown that the ice caps are melting and that the average temperature is rising. The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising.
These are indisputable facts. Proven facts.

For those who claim that this is all b.s. I would hope you would make an effort to watch the Discovery Channel on Mon.Aug 21st at 12:00 noon EST.
Record it if you will be at work or skip work if necessary.
If you are a personal friend of mine, I TIVO'd it and burned a cd for personal use. I may loan it to you if you ask nicely. The Discovery folks showed it repeatedly recently and I thought the photo evidence of melted glaciers was astounding..
The show was hosted by Tom Brokaw of NBC and produced by NBC, Discovery and BBC.

The recent Al Gore Movie "An Inconvienient Truth"shown recently in theaters was really convincing. (See the links section to the left )
There are several videos on Google Video which show some dramatic pictures. Check out this link:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2078944470709189270
and check out http://www.climatecrisis.net/ for more about the movie.

I personally live in the country north of Dallas.
Every Day I cross a fairly long bridge over a branch of Lake Lewisville in the town of Little Elm. To one side of the bridge is a park and boat ramp with a pier for the boaters to tie up to.
Frequenty in the spring, after our rainy season, the lake is about a foot over the deck of the pier. Now the lake has dropped so far that there is only 1 leg even reaching any water and that is about to become landlocked.
A boater could drive his pickup underneath the pier he usually ties up to, then he could get out and stand on his truck while beneath the pier! (dont try it though, you'd probably get a ticket)
But it not this which convinced me, it is the overwhelming global evidence!
I urge you to study, learn, and educate yourselves and your friends.
Then put pressure on your elected officials. If the future generations are to still have a hospitable home we have to act NOW. It may already be too late for total success, but the longer we wait the worse it will be.
Deacon Harry



Floyd's second test

2006-08-05T17:37:30.553-05:00

First I'd like to say that it does not look good for Floyd Landis. His second sample also came back positive for a too high level of testosterone.
There has been no official release of numbers, but the "leaks"are saying a 11 to 1 ratio which is extremely high. There have also been leaks that claimed that a carbon test was done which shows that the high level was due to a large portion of synthetic testosterone in his blood.
I would still like to know what the results were of any tests after the incriminating one. If he tested ok 1 a day or too, it would tend to indicate that the original tests may have been deliberately sabotaged, as his levels would not clear that fast.
I will watch with intrest for further news. In the meantime there is apparently no alternative other than to strip him of the title.
Seems in a way that there should still be a hearing before it is done.

I would really like to have a hero to believe in .

Deacon Harry



Check this out.

2006-07-30T05:54:24.080-05:00

http://www.borndifferent.org/home.html

I just found a link to a great site for people who don't understand that being gay is not a choice.
Especially check out the Norman on TV link on this page. This is an ad for tv being shown in a few places. It is restricted showing due to expense, but I would love to see it shown in prime time nationwide.

The "What people think "link brings up a very good point that most gay rights campaginers fail to realize. Most people who are against gay rights are merely not properly informed about homosexuality.

They need to be exposed to more facts and not led on by the claims of the fundamentalists such as Focus On The Family and others.

The next time you hear someone who is misinformed, ask them "When did you decide to be straight?"

The general public needs for more gays to be open about themselves. It's only if we let our friends and neighbors know who we are and that we are really no different than them that we can really expect to change the world.

Gay rights legislation wont force people to become educated.

Deacon Harry



False accusations and False test results.

2006-07-29T21:25:08.876-05:00

While I have been really down on a personal level recently, I have come home from work every day to watch the Tour De France on tv.Because of Dan's involvement and later my own too, ( see the link to our old cycling site) it was natural for me to start watching Lance in the Tour 8 years ago.From there my interest grew, and I am really a fan of road cycling.Since my world was really crumbling recently, the Tour was really a relief for me.The "Spanish inquisition" , (a insiders joke name for the big drug busts just before the Tour )changed the outlook for the Tour. I personally predicted that the next winner would be another American, and I gave a slight nod toward Floyd.This was a fun race because so many different riders led the different stages and because the Yellow Jersey was in doubt until the very end.When Floyd had his famous "bonk" on stage 16 I really felt for him. Although he did not blame them, it is a fact that his team did not support him properly that day.You see, when riding any distance, your body uses energy at a faster rate than it can create it from using fat and other reserves in you body. You must drink and eat frequently, preferably foods which are high in carbs which can be broken down and used quickly. This is what Power Bars and other energy bars provide. Also, energy gels, which are even quicker acting, and lots & lots of water and sports drink to replace the high amounts of fluid and electrolytes lost to sweat.Floyd's teammates dropped back and were not providing him with enough supplies and reminding him to eat and drink. His team car could and should have done more also. But anyway, on the last climb he "ran out of gas".I have done this before, and it is really unpleasant. I bogged about 10 miles from our truck one time, and since Dan doesn't drive, I had to get back to the truck.Dan and I spent about an hour sitting in the shade in the empty,deserted old downtown area of a small town while I tried to recoup.When we started back, I was able to ride about a half block or so at a time, then we would have to stop for a couple of minutes rest. I kept breaking out in a sweat, but fortunately Dan kept making me drink to prevent dehydration. We made it back, but that was the worst afternoon of my life on wheels.I have reviewed the stage on my TiVo and Floyd shows all the signs.It is true that you can recover from this condition overnight, but I wonder if it may mess up your body chemistry.The next Day Floyd went out on what I would have to say is the best single day effort by an individual rider in the history of cycling. He did what all the experts said was impossible.Now we have word that at the end of that stage his test was off. This is a 2 sample test, if one test comes back off you re-test. He has given 2 samples and the second has not been tested yet.until the re-tests there is no possible case. But of course the scandal hunting press has to jump in immediately to try to kick up dirt and create a fuss. Floyd is not accused of anything at this time, except in the press.First of all the test in question did not show a high level of testosterone.It showed an abnormal ratio between Testosterone and epitestosterone.While this coul be from a high level of testosterone, it could also be a low level of epitestestorne.What does this mean? Testerone and epitesterone are hormones which athletes (and everyone else)naturally have in their bodies. The level of the hormones varies from person to person and from day to [...]



I'm back

2006-07-28T22:28:46.823-05:00

I have been undergoing some serious personal problems lately, and I haven't cared enough to write about anything.
It's been mostly financial troubles, with some major job related troubles and troubles at home.

Some of the things bothering me have continued to go badly, but some are beginning to turn around thanks to my Lord's faithfulness.

I am sure that my problems aren't over, but I feel that events are changing directions and I know that God is guiding things for me.

I do have some things I wish to say, and I am feeling the need to express myself.

Some parts of this blog are like a therapy to me. It's always neat to look at my counter and see that people actually read what I have to say. And, the writing itself is therapeutic as it makes me focus on an idea for a while.

So, anyway, check back soon, I have a couple of things that I want to get off my chest. More posts to follow.

Deacon Harry



Still More About Music. Bill Gaither Does Not Stand On His Principals.

2006-05-27T16:16:46.546-05:00

Here is news release issued by Rev Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Church and my take on the whole thing.A Statement by the Moderatorof Metropolitan Community Churchesby The Reverend Nancy L. WilsonOffice of the MCC ModeratorCORRECTING THE RECORD:A Response To Bill Gaither's Comments AboutOpenly-Lesbian Christian Songwriter and Musician Marsha Stevens-PinoMay 26, 2006In early May, Gospel Music leader Bill Gaither, whose hymns appear in many church hymnals and whose concerts draw tens of thousands of concertgoers, distributed a public statement about Christian songwriter and musician Marsha Stevens-Pino.Marsha is an open lesbian described as "the mother of contemporary Christian music" by the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, and a long-time member of Metropolitan Community Churches.Marsha, who has faithfully devoted her life to ministering to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) persons, has been called "Conservative Christianity's worst nightmare - a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, God-fearing lesbian Christian," by Christian Century magazine.Gaither's recent press release was intended to diffuse controversy over public statements he made before 15,000 concertgoers in Phoenix, Arizona in 2002. In his press statement, Gaither accuses Marsha Stevens-Pino of "misrepresentation" and describes Marsha's life as a "sad story."I am taking the extraordinary step of issuing a public statement on this matter, and am doing so for two reasons:First, many hurtful and false things are often said about gay and lesbian people of faith. And most often, we let them go. But there are some things we ought not to let go. Because Bill Gaither's statement publicly attacks a lesbian of deep integrity and spiritual faith, I must correct the misleading impressions in his statement.Second, there may be many young LGBT youth, as well as straight youth, who look up to Bill Gaither and who will believe what he says about Marsha Stevens, in particular, or about LGBT people, in general. They may be struggling with issues around spirituality and sexuality. They need to hear from us and they deserve to know the truth.Some background information may be helpful.The following facts are not in dispute: Marsha attended a Gaither concert in Phoenix, Arizona on New Year's Eve of 2002. She and her partner were invited backstage to meet Bill Gaither prior to the concert, and a photo was taken. During the concert, Gaither publicly recognized Marsha from the stage and referenced a song, "For Those Tears I Died," that Marsha had written. He sang Marsha's song from the stage during the concert and the 15,000 concertgoers who were present sang along as Marsha's song was the concert's final song, and as 2002 turned into 2003.Here's what is in dispute: During his public comments before 15,000 people, Gaither, a conservative Christian, made statements that many interpreted as supportive and affirming of gay and lesbian people of faith. Those comments sparked a controversy among conservative, fundamentalist, and evangelical Christians. Gaither now claims that his comments were not directed to Marsha as an openly lesbian Christian -- but rather, were general comments made to his audience and which have been taken out of context.Regrettably, in his current efforts to distance himself from his own public statements, Gaither's press response contains what I believe to be four specific mislead[...]