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  • hippymanedude
    Hi, I ve been away for awhile. It s good to see some familiar faces here. I ve had time to think. I ve had several things happen in my life since I was last
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 15, 2002
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      Hi,

      I've been away for awhile. It's good to see some familiar faces
      here.

      I've had time to think. I've had several things happen in my life
      since I was last here – some sexual interactions with guys, a
      death
      in the family, and deeper bonding with old friends. I've also come
      into knowledge of various events that have been happening in our
      world that you will never see in the mainstream media (or at least
      haven't so far). Information that is converting "world class"
      scientists to believe in God and return to faith because of the
      improbability of some revelations – we're talking mathematicians
      and
      quantum physicists here, not some nuts in a cellar surrounded by
      beakers.

      I've also gotten information of some VERY "close calls" that on at
      least one occasion would have quite literally wiped out all life on
      earth, according to scientists. It is mind-boggling to me that the
      media didn't cover two particular events considering the scope of
      them… perhaps these things aren't reported because they would
      cause
      widespread panic, perhaps it's just that people see only what they
      wish to, including the media… it's akin to an ostrich with his
      head
      in the sand because he doesn't want to see an oncoming vehicle. But
      the point is, all the events in my life in the last year have made
      me reassess what is important in my life – now more than ever.

      I wanted to share my thoughts, in case they may be of any value to
      others with concerns similar to mine. I suppose it's the writer in
      me who has always had a desire to share with others – but who was
      often too scared to speak out in the past. I don't feel fear now,
      except to keep myself balanced. In matters as extremely personal
      (and sometimes painful and/or joyous) as sexuality, it's easy for me
      to fall into an attitude of "trying to prove a point." This is
      something I need to always be on guard against. With that said,
      I'll get to it.

      I longed for a relationship when I was in high school. I wanted it
      more than anything – I thought if I had someone to love – who
      would
      love me too – then it might stop the pain inside of me and
      deliver
      me from my sense of loneliness and worthlessness. It's a tough
      thing to live with, a constant sense of one's sinfulness, and yet I
      lived with it and in shame all through high school (I'm not even
      talking sexual stuff specifically here, but in general). I was so
      busy beating myself up and wondering why God didn't give me a way
      out that I didn't see the very thing I longed for was right under my
      nose.

      Acceptance. Love. Trust. Hope. Understanding. Loyalty. Someone
      to hold me, someone I could hold. That's what I wanted, what I
      yearned for so much that it hurt. I had a broken heart, and I know
      many people do – even those in relationships. I also know that a
      broken heart can kill a person.

      I imagine the arms of a man cradling me now as I write this. This
      man loves me more than any other human being could. He knows my
      heart, he knows all of my flaws… and yet he still loves me
      anyway.
      I could try to explain to you with words what I'm feeling, but
      unfortunately words cannot express some things. All I can say is,
      it's not easy – I still have my struggles as we all do. And yet,
      when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night, there's
      someone there with me. All those years of suffering, of being
      alone… of wanting to share a sunset with someone in a quiet
      peaceful
      place, a success or a failure, of wanting someone to talk to when I
      was alone… He was there at all of those times. I look back on
      those memories now, and I cry tears of gratitude because I know He
      was there with me, even though many of those times I had turned my
      back on Him.

      I have nothing to be proud of, and if I focus on all of my sins then
      of course I'm going to fall into bitterness, despair, hatred, and
      loathing – of myself, of God, of people. My focus determines my
      reality – if I focus on woes then my existence becomes woeful. I
      don't think God intended this – I think He intended for me to
      understand that I am not worthy, but that He ultimately wants me to
      focus on HIM.

      Before, I wasn't seeing the full picture. I thought I could make it
      on my own, I could improve myself – that I could "earn my way"
      into
      God's favor. I can't, it is beyond my ability to do anything except
      accept His grace and mercy, and to be grateful for that – and for
      the knowledge that He loves me so much that He has made the huge
      sacrifice of his own son. Imagine… would I sacrifice my own
      child
      to save billions of people? I don't know how to answer that one.
      All I know is, I'm grateful.

      Sacrifice seems to be an important part of any close relationship.
      What would I sacrifice for a loved one? Well, the easy answer
      is "my life." I say it's easy because sometimes living and making
      sacrifices in our lives may be harder than simply dying. Death is
      drastic, but it also means there's no ongoing sacrifice – it's
      a "boom-bang, you're done" kind of thing.

      I don't believe that most "Christians" have it together – I think
      most of them leave a lot to be desired and lack qualities that many
      non-Christians possess and practice every day. But then I ask
      myself… what is the first commandment of the Bible? To love God,
      with all of my mind, body and soul. That doesn't mean that I can go
      out and do all the things I want to (although I often have… and
      ironically, every single time I've strayed from what I knew in my
      heart was right, there has been a nasty consequence for me. Gee, if
      I'd only listened in the first place I wouldn't have touched the
      kettle and gotten burned!). So really… I don't have it together
      myself in a lot of ways. What then, should I not speak out or try
      to do and say what I believe is my duty of love to do and to say?
      I'm going to try to improve myself and attempt to speak out in a way
      that I believe God would wish me to… I can only pray that He will
      guide me to do some good, and not to fall too far should I stumble.

      So according to the Bible, my first responsibility is to God –
      specifically to LOVE God. I find that I've spent more time
      fantasizing about guys than I have fantasizing about God… So
      clearly
      my own priorities were wrong. What to do…? Well, I think of all
      the things in my life that I love, and I remind myself that God made
      all of those things. I think of all the ways that I "think" that a
      man would satisfy me in my own. If I were so inclined, the fantasy
      would be about women and fulfillment, and I would still be in a
      precarious position. If I turn to other flesh and blood to fulfill
      me and give me reason and meaning, what hope can I possibly have?
      People change, we're weak, and we die. So what then? Who can I
      turn to who will understand me, who will care about me?

      When Jesus was dying on the cross, he probably felt worse than I
      ever have. Imagine, you do all the right things, people don't
      appreciate you, they even betray you… and your own father allows
      you
      to die… how would you feel? And yet it happened. And he's here
      watching all of us, no doubt joyous over some things, and saddened
      over other things. Think he doesn't understand just because you
      can't see him at the moment? What would I be willing to sacrifice
      for Jesus? That's a question I have to ask myself, and I find that
      I'm a lot weaker in my faith than I thought because the fact is, I
      want all the things that we humans desire. But I also know for a
      fact that we humans are capable of a lot more in life than we
      usually actually achieve. It all comes down to a matter of love and
      will: What do I believe? What do I love? What do I wake up for in
      the morning? What do I fall asleep dreaming about at night? All
      too often, it's all the wrong things – how I'm going to pay a
      bill,
      or how I'm going find gratification… this, that, the other.
      All
      these things God will see to, and no matter what I think about He
      still loves me. I know this. But I also know that for a
      relationship to work, both people have to make an effort. God can
      love me all He wants to, but if I don't make an effort, the
      relationship will ultimate fail. So sacrifice is necessary. If
      you're not willing to give something up that you know that you
      should for someone, then you don't really love that someone.

      As time goes on, I'm finding more and more fulfillment in God.
      There are still moments when I do what I know in my heart isn't
      right – and I make excuses such as "I'm only human," "I need
      this,
      it's just instinct and the way God made me" and other such
      rationalizations… But I know deep down what is right and wrong, I
      believe if someone really does want to follow God that God shows
      them what is right and wrong – maybe not all at once, maybe only
      a
      little at a time so that we can handle it better. He doesn't want
      to torture us or see us suffer, He wants to know we love Him –
      and
      love is all about trust. Can we trust Him to meet our needs… if
      we
      do, that is part of our love for Him showing. Can He trust us to
      follow His commandments? Well, I have to at least make an effort.

      The next time you feel alone or sad, try thinking about something or
      someone you value in your life. Then try reminding yourself that
      God created what you value – He gave what you value to you. If
      you're lucky, you'll feel what I feel when I do that: gratitude,
      love… I start to value God when I realize all He has given me,
      instead of only seeing all I want and don't have. The sadness may
      not disappear, but it is balanced with a sense of hope… and I
      know
      that I could have had what I wanted all along – it was only for
      me
      to take it. A relationship. And how much more rewarding a
      relationship, with God and Jesus. It's guilt free, He always
      listens even when it may not seem like it, and He understands –
      after all, He designed not only us - but the fabric of the reality
      we live within. I can go to God through Jesus with my problems…
      any
      time at all. I can speak to Him, any time at all, any place.
      Others may wonder about me if I do that last bit, but then
      considering the knowledge of the events of the past year… I'm
      beginning to see just how crazy a world it really is that we live
      in. I'd rather appear crazy and be sane than appear sane and be
      crazy!

      I won't be on the group as regularly as before, I have to practice
      balance in my life and quite honestly I got to emotionally caught up
      in some interactions and the quality of those interactions
      deteriorated – this is my own fault, I don't blame anyone else.
      If
      anyone wishes to respond or just say hi, please email me otherwise I
      can't say for certain that I will see your message in the group
      (most likely will, but I'm not sure yet how much time I can safely
      dedicate to interacting on the group before I cross an unhealthy
      boundary for myself).

      All that said, I wish the peace and love of God to all of you…
      when
      one opens one's self up to it, it truly is a wonderful and amazing
      thing.
    • nyguy_1225
      REPLY: As I read that that extremely long post from hippymanedude (and I ve read books that were shorter!!! Please have mercy and remember that one of the
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 16, 2002
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        REPLY: As I read that that extremely long post from "hippymanedude"
        (and I've read books that were shorter!!! Please have mercy and
        remember that one of the directives of this club is to "keep
        comments brief"), the thing that struck me most, what I found most
        sad, and what appeared to be weaved through the entire dissertation
        is the seeming assumption that God (and Scripture) calls us to
        choose between either a relationship with Him or a relationship with
        man. I think the bible clearly teaches that a balanced and Godly
        life involves healthy relationships with both.

        When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment he replied
        that we are to (1) love God and (2) love others. He said everything
        in the Law and everything in the prophets hang on these two
        commandments (Matt 22:36-40).

        Clearly God should be our first priority in this complex world. I
        believe our relationship with God should be not just another "file"
        in our file folder. But rather our relationship with God should be
        THE file folder, into which every other file either fits or does
        not. However, that being said we must also remember that God also
        calls us to relationship with others.

        A longing for intimate relationship is the heart cry for many people
        in our modern world, where more and more people live alone. Apart
        from the need for companionship, we also long for relationship where
        we feel safe to draw close, to be with someone who understands and
        loves us and appreciates our love for them. However, many of us
        (especially gay people) learn all too quickly that people can be
        unsafe -- very unsafe sometimes! Some of us may look to find that
        intimacy of relationship with God alone. But that is not biblical.

        This human longing for intimacy has been recognized and recorded
        from the beginning of time when God expressed his concern for Adam,
        because it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 1:18). And we must
        remember that sentiment was expressed even in paradise in unbroken
        relationship with God!!!

        How can we know intimacy with a God we cannot see if we never find
        true intimacy with another human being? Especially if we have been
        taught all our lives that God rejects us because of our sexuality!
        And at the same time, how can we ever find true intimacy with
        another human being if we do not know the God who created us for
        true intimacy and who cares enough about human relationships that He
        teaches us important principles about how to make them? No, it's
        not either or; the two go hand in hand.
      • hippymanedude
        Hi there NYguy - Sorry the post was so long. To clarify - I was contrasting (within myself) loving God with wanting to fulfill earthly desires (selfish, not
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 17, 2002
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          Hi there NYguy -

          Sorry the post was so long.

          To clarify - I was contrasting (within myself) loving God with
          wanting to fulfill earthly desires (selfish, not selfless -
          gratifying myself, not to be confused with loving another person -
          although at times the two can go together), not contrasting loving
          God with loving other people. I do love others - and you're right
          that we are commanded to love others. I apologize if I wasn't clear.

          Peace and God's love,
          Kip
        • nyguy_1225
          REPLY: Hi Kip, glad to see you re still seeking Christ. Then if I understand your reply correctly I guess that entire dissertation didn t have anything at all
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 18, 2002
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            REPLY: Hi Kip, glad to see you're still seeking Christ. Then if I
            understand your reply correctly I guess that entire dissertation
            didn't have anything at all to do with the issue of "ex-ex-gay" and
            you were just using this board as a personal journal.

            --- In exexgayministry@y..., "hippymanedude" <hippymanedude@y...>
            wrote:
            > Hi there NYguy -
            >
            > Sorry the post was so long.
            >
            > To clarify - I was contrasting (within myself) loving God with
            > wanting to fulfill earthly desires (selfish, not selfless -
            > gratifying myself, not to be confused with loving another person -
            > although at times the two can go together), not contrasting loving
            > God with loving other people. I do love others - and you're right
            > that we are commanded to love others. I apologize if I wasn't
            clear.
            >
            > Peace and God's love,
            > Kip
          • hippymanedude
            The moderator allowed my post here, apparently someone saw relevence and value to my words. May God s love shine upon you. Kip
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 18, 2002
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              The moderator allowed my post here, apparently someone saw relevence
              and value to my words.

              May God's love shine upon you.

              Kip
            • nyguy_1225
              Unlike some other boards, the moderator here allows all posts unless categorically offensive. But as you know from your own experience on these boards,
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 18, 2002
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                Unlike some other boards, the moderator here "allows" all posts
                unless categorically offensive. But as you know from your own
                experience on these boards, "allowed" doesn't necessarily translate
                into "relevant" to the club's focus. And that is certainly not to
                say your words are not releevant. Everybody's words are releveant
                and surely yours are too. I just wasn't able to discern after
                reading your long post how it related to the description of the club
                [ex-ex-gay] outlined on the home page and the club's focus. As you
                yourself stated after the fact, your were processing all of that
                information "within [your]self." Hence, my comment about using the
                board for a personal journal. My apologies if you were offended.
                That was not my intention. I'd just hate to think what the board
                would look like if we used it to do our thinking. I would have
                thought you would have rather done the thinking, processing and
                journalizing, etc. and then come share with us one or two
                conclusions. But perhaps that was just me...

                --- In exexgayministry@y..., "hippymanedude" <hippymanedude@y...>
                wrote:
                > The moderator allowed my post here, apparently someone saw
                relevence
                > and value to my words.
                >
                > May God's love shine upon you.
                >
                > Kip
              • nojam75
                In regards to hippymanedude s lengthly post, msg 2369, I was hesitant about approving the post due to its length and relevancy. What swayed me was that it
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 18, 2002
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                  In regards to hippymanedude's lengthly post, msg 2369, I was
                  hesitant about approving the post due to its length and relevancy.
                  What swayed me was that it seemed like an honest post and I
                  recognized some of my own previous ways of thinking during my own
                  struggle. In hindsight, I think I would have rejected the post had
                  I read it more carefully and discovered that it was already posted
                  on exgaymensministry. (Maybe it was posted here in error?)

                  What interests me about the post was the author's attempt to
                  understand God and the meaning of life. What disturbs me is that in
                  his desperation, hippymandude seems to lean toward personifying God
                  and even projecting his own thoughts onto God. As I've seen in ex-
                  gay ministries and in certain churches, hippymandude is seeing God
                  as an imaginery friend instead of a divine mystery. But I think at
                  some level, we all make faith assumptions about the nature of God
                  and God's will.

                  I have to disagree with you, nyguy, about this group not being about
                  thinking out load. That is exactly why the group is here. Although
                  we certainly have a bias toward being critical of the ex-gay
                  movement, I will not censor honest inquiries and thoughts. One the
                  reasons why this group was founded was because exgaymensministry is
                  so strict in it's discussion rules.

                  - NormQ



                  --- In exexgayministry@y..., nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                  > Unlike some other boards, the moderator here "allows" all posts
                  > unless categorically offensive. But as you know from your own
                  > experience on these boards, "allowed" doesn't necessarily
                  translate
                  > into "relevant" to the club's focus. And that is certainly not to
                  > say your words are not releevant. Everybody's words are releveant
                  > and surely yours are too. I just wasn't able to discern after
                  > reading your long post how it related to the description of the
                  club
                  > [ex-ex-gay] outlined on the home page and the club's focus. As
                  you
                  > yourself stated after the fact, your were processing all of that
                  > information "within [your]self."

                  > ...Hence, my comment about using the
                  > board for a personal journal. My apologies if you were offended.
                  > That was not my intention. I'd just hate to think what the board
                  > would look like if we used it to do our thinking. I would have
                  > thought you would have rather done the thinking, processing and
                  > journalizing, etc. and then come share with us one or two
                  > conclusions. But perhaps that was just me...





                  >
                  > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "hippymanedude" <hippymanedude@y...>
                  > wrote:
                  > > The moderator allowed my post here, apparently someone saw
                  > relevence
                  > > and value to my words.
                  > >
                  > > May God's love shine upon you.
                  > >
                  > > Kip
                • nyguy_1225
                  ...
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 19, 2002
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                    --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                    <<I have to disagree with you, nyguy, about this group not being
                    about thinking out load. That is exactly why the group is here.
                    Although we certainly have a bias toward being critical of the ex-
                    gay movement, I will not censor honest inquiries and thoughts.>>

                    As long as you made the comment, Norm, I'll clarify. It's not
                    thinking out loud that I personally objected to in this particular
                    instance. In essence, that's what most of our posts, if not all,
                    are comprised of -- our personal thoughts. It's thinking out loud
                    and journalizing to the point where what we churn out is a 2,500
                    word treatise. [You may recall we've been down this road before.]
                    My own personal opinion is that this venue does not lend itself well
                    to such and it is not considerate of or respectful to the readers.
                    However, as I already said, that was just my own personal thought.
                    If this is not a problem for you, you may wish to consider removing
                    the directive from the club home page to "keep comments brief." But
                    enough said on this. I think it's been dragged through the mud and
                    has gotten way out of hand already.
                  • hippymanedude
                    Hi Norm, In what way is feeling gratitude and love toward God and Christ desperate ? I tend to think of Christ as real, not imaginary - and we are told to
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 20, 2002
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                      Hi Norm,

                      In what way is feeling gratitude and love toward God and
                      Christ "desperate"?

                      I tend to think of Christ as real, not imaginary - and we are told
                      to seek comfort in HIM, are we not? God is beyond our ability to
                      understand. However aren't we supposed to meditate on Him? If
                      taken to the extreme it's a danger to "remake God in our image"
                      within our limited viewpoints, hence we're told to examine ourselves
                      and reason one with another in order to keep a better perspective,
                      correct? Isn't this why we have minds and the ability to reason -
                      because if we went only with emotion we would give ourselves over to
                      our every fleshly desire without thought for consequences?

                      Not seeing relevence to my first post this week indicates to me that
                      you're either way ahead of me in faith, or you've become lazy in
                      your belief and self examination. Prayerfully the former, and not
                      the latter.

                      Peace and God's love,

                      Kip
                    • nyguy_1225
                      ...
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jul 23, 2002
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                        --- In exexgayministry@y..., hippymanedude <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        <<Not seeing relevance to my first post this week indicates to me
                        that you're either way ahead of me in faith, or you've become lazy
                        in your belief and self examination. Prayerfully the former, and not
                        the latter.>>

                        Kip, this is not an issue concerning who is ahead of who in faith.
                        And this is not your first time at bat here with pages and pages and
                        more pages of posts that have nothing to do with the subject matter
                        at hand. Your post was simply off-target and not relevant to the
                        purpose and focus of this group. The mere fact that you posted that
                        2,500 word treatise on multiple groups with differing and opposing
                        focuses bears witness to this. The purpose and focus of this group,
                        as clearly stipulated in the opening statement on the home page,
                        is "for those who question the effectiveness and safety of `ex-gay'
                        therapies." Your post was simply irrelevant with regard to this.
                        Give it up already and move on already!
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