Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This is "so L.A."!

I had to be in Koreatown today to sign up at an employment agency. I mapquested it, and saw that there was a Metro subway stop right near it, so I decided that I would take the subway! I haven't actually ridden it yet. I've been thinking that I really ought to start thinking in terms of taking it when there is a stop near where I'm going, you know, to maybe do a little more to help the environment, etc. But if you have a car in this town and are not completely dependent upon the Metro system, including the good old fashioned buses, you really don't want to deal with said good old fashioned buses; you drive to the subway station and take it from there! Which is actually kind of silly.

I just love how they ripped out the trolley system we used to have (before my time!) "This is a car town"! We love our cars in Los Angeles, and our idea of mass transit when "planning" that kind of thing out way back when, was to build the network of freeways and tear out anything we even had in the way of city rail transit. But I digress. Kind of, it is relevant to the story. Anyway...

I checked the schedules, and by the time I got out of my place I was cutting it close as far as catching the latest train that would get me to my appointment on time. But I had enough time. Except - I pulled into the parking lot, and lo and behold, there is not a single parking space to be found!!! I mean, really!! How ridiculous is that, and yet how VERY L.A.!? I do think there are some other lots, but it was too late to figure that out, so I ended up just driving.

I tried. I guess I'll try harder next time and research where those other lots are and leave earlier. What a lot of trouble one has to go to in order to use the Metro in this town!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

GCN Conference Reflections: Part 2, the glow!

There is something about GCN that is different now that I've met so many people. Which is odd in a way, since I have met so many before what with being here in the gathering capital/"Mecca" of GCN. But meeting so many more, all together, worshiping together with them, it just takes this website experience to another level and makes the board "less flat" somehow.

The pivotal points in the conference for me were the two small sessions I went to on Saturday. This is not to diminish everything else, because all the parts very much comprised the whole and in fact, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts! But the nature of Mike's meditation session and Ling's emotional healing group, was such that the focus was on application and experience rather than on lecturing and note taking. God did something in me during those two sessions. And by the end of the sharing that night, I was a wreck. I just cried and cried and cried, and so much stuff came up, deep emotional stuff.
Then my good friend Eric Leocadio came over and held me and affirmed me and spoke a Word from the Lord to me. And others, Steve F, Chris the Elf, Joe, and more came over and offered me affirmation and encouragement and love. Wow! Then I met Scott Straley in the stairway and received a gift from his tongue. (that REALLY didn't come out right). And more incredible words of love and affirmation were to come Sunday morning after final circle.

I really believe that none of us yet know the full extent of what God did there. I think it's going to unfold and become revealed more and more as the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, and so on.

I feel different. Things just look and feel different. And its just a crack in the ice, or the wall, right now. But its already started to unfold and expand.

There was so much love! We all love Jesus Christ! He was there! It's all about the Lord. Praise Him and Glory be to God in the highest! Like I said during the sharing, we are in a revival! Its here, we're no longer waiting for it, but its just begun and we ain't seen nothing yet! I'm so excited that next year is going to be in my own backyard, in Southern California, where God has been moving in such an amazing way in our local GCN group, and in our churches.

I do wish that I had been less in my head and consumed with my issues. But God worked on me, and all of us, in these areas! I know that my head does terrible things to me. On many levels, some of which I can't even talk about because they are so horrible and I am ashamed of the thoughts that come into my head. But God began to transform and change this over the course of last weekend. Not just for me, but I know He showed many or all us things about ourselves and about HIMSELF, in spite of, against, with and through our issues and the way we experienced things in our heads, during the conference. I could see the changed hearts, heads and lives all around me!

Thank you God. Thank you my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the way the truth and the life! Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

GCN Conference Reflections: Part 1, regrets!

It strikes me how at the conference, there were so many people I did not connect with, at all, not even for a moment! And how many more were just the ships passing in the night variety, "oh hi! nice to see you" all weekend. I did spend a lot of time in my room, on the computer PMing with two friends who were not at the conference, and I can't really regret that. I needed time to be "by myself" and "with them"! I went in and out of social anxiety and rejection issues all through the conference.

But then, even though I can be at times very outgoing in some sense and free with the hugs, and all, I'm at my heart very shy and well, afraid that I'm secretly or really not liked or even that I'm despised or annoying to people. I shared that a little on Saturday night, and that the ice is cracking. But unfortunately its still very much there, the ice or the wall or whatever you want to call it.

None of this should be understood to say that I didn't have a good time. I had "a shy person's good time", as someone said to me at one point about how they were doing! I guess you could add, I had a good time for someone who has so many social issues and fears.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

GCN Conference Day 4

The conference just ended this morning. This morning's worship was the most incredible yet. The Holy Spirit was so strong in that room.

They said that there were 240 "live encouragrams" given out. I didn't get one! I feel left out, but I didn't give any out either. I kind of wanted to, but anytime I thought about it, the guy who had them wasn't around; or else maybe I was just too shy to seek him out. I wish they had simply had them available at a table to write, and put in a box to be picked up for distribution or...something. As it was you had to find one person who had the blank ones on him. There was someone I kept wanting to send one to, but I was so obsessed with thinking that he didn't like me, I was kinda hesitant to send him one cause I feared he thought I was creepy or something. In any case, I wish I'd sent some. And I wish I'd gotten at least one!

The time after this morning's session closed was great; we spoke words of encouragement and affirmation to one another. My friend Ryan in particular blew me away in what he said. Which reminds me, my friend Scott similarly blew me away last night on a stairwell.

God has done something here this weekend and it's going to outflow and affect everyone on GCN. And in our communities.

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GCN Conference Day 3

Today was by far the most intense day of the conference so far. There really are no words. Its going to take some time to process what happened here this weekend; and what is happening. I will say that I've cried a lot tonight. There's just something that God is doing, in me; and in our community. Revival is here. I believe we dont even know the full extent of what has gone on here this weekend in the Lord and the impact it is going to have in our lives and in our communities is going to unfold and reveal itself in the months to come. Lots to process.

Jay Bakker was awesome, The two small groups I attended left me changed.
They were meditation in the Christian life, and emotional healing in Him.
Wow. Powerful, experiential stuff. The time of sharing tonight, there just isn't a word to describe how it felt to hear all the testimonies of what GCN means to people, what the Lord is doing through us for each other. I had a major catharsis at the close of the sharing. I couldn't stop crying. Thank you Eric, Chris, Father David,Steve F, and others for being there. I have to give a special thanks to Eric though, he stood with me and held me through it, and spoke life giving and affirming words into my spirit, and gave a Word from the Lord: "speak faith, prophet. This is your year of receiving. Its time to let go and receive, and as you let go there is even more you will be given. This is a year of faith. You are going into the year in faith, and will come out of it by faith". I have actually been sensing that 2008 is going to be a very good year. Eric also indicated something about 2008 merely being a preparation for something astounding God has prepared for 2009.

The sense of what the Spirit of God is doing here, is that we are being called, prepared, and sent out! Revival is here, we are it, and its time to live it. Forgive those who hurt our community, live lives of authentic Christian faith and move out into actively sharing Christ and being about His business in our world. That its not important to get an institution's approval, because we already have God's approval and He is giving us work to do.

Several of us spent a couple hours late in the night singing and worshiping God in the lobby. This was an amazing time. During this, God gave me a Word, which was "I have loved you with an everlasting love. No weapon formed against you shall stand, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn, because your righteousness is from me, and I have loved you with an everlasting love". At least that's as best I can recall it.

I am slipping in and out of my social anxiety and rejection issues. More out of them than in I guess. But they are there. I usually haven't known quite where to "place myaelf" in the general sessions. I stand around a lot and feel alone in the crowd.
I come up here to my room a lot, and blog and PM with a couple people. I don't really, truly feel a part of even with all this amazing love going on. I still sense, it still looks like there are groups who are bonded together but I'm not bonded with a group.

I have had about 6 hours of sleep this whole time. I am going around in an altered state of consciousness! My whole entire conference has been experienced in some kind of altered state of mind. Which I believe was what God intended, as it in some way allowed me to experience it in a certain way, I don't know, maybe more able to surrender?

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

GCN Conference Day 2

Argh! I couldn't sleep last night either, well, until finally I did but only for 2 hours! I was in an altered state all day!

This morning's speaker was good. It was very interesting how he expressed why you can be gay and Christian. He gave John 3:16, which is obvious, and along with that pointed out what the next two verses say (God sent not his son to condemn the world but that the world might be saved). What hit me most was when he referenced Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." He said that a yoke of bondage is anything (in terms of worrying about whether in doing or not doing things we are saved) that keeps us away from Christ and/or gets in the way of our relationship with Him. That is exactly what I heard the Lord say to me, that made me put this struggle away on the shelf as it were; "this is just getting in the way of your relationship with Me, stop worrying and thinking about it and leave it be".The speaker further said that we must trust in our own integrity, that "you know your sincerity in giving your life to Christ" (Ref - "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved"). It was good to hear all this confirmation of our salvation in Christ being secure, as gay people, from a different angle than re-interpeting the standard "clobber passages". Essentially this morning confirmed and affirmed the path which I've come to in terms of how I view justification in being a gay Christian.

This afternoon's speaker was also great. The biggest thing I carried away from it is that "God comes to us and then He wants to work through us."

Eric's blogging group session was awesome! It was very inspiring, and helped to clarify what I'm doing this blog for. I realized a little more of what its really about, kinda. I am going to work on some more amplified wording for the top of the page in that regard.

Its been amazing and wonderful to meet all these people from GCN who I have only known from the boards. Its almost like meeting a bunch of celebrities! You know, public personas. People don't always look or talk or behave the way they do or come across online, though by this I don't mean anybody is insincere or is misrepresenting themselves, nor do I mean that they are "worse" or anything in person, hehe. Its just interesting, and its wonderful to connect and share ourselves with each other and hug so many people who I've longed to give more than a cyber hug to! And dear Alma is simply made out of pure love!!!!!

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Friday, January 4, 2008

GCN Conference Day 1

I simply literally could not and did not sleep a wink last night! 5am came around and I just had to get up and deal with getting out of the house, onto a plane and to the hotel, without having slept!

I got myself to the airport, obsessing the whole way there that I'd left my stove on. I texted Shamus every stop along the way! Finally I arrived and after waiting forever for my luggage, headed out to where Scot from Delaware picked me up, along with Nehemie, and we went to Wendy's and then to the hotel!!!

Walking in, with everyone in the lobby, was quite overwhelming, scary and wonderful. After checking in I went up and ate, finally coming down a little bit into the first session and regretting that I'd missed the opening. I didn't know "where to put myself", in the seating. But as soon as I figured out where to sit, I looked behind me and saw "faces of avatars"! There was Sandushinka, Lia and JudB, and others I knew from the boards, and wow! It was amazing to see these people in person.

Justin's keynote was awesome. He spoke about true forgiveness, and brought up the Lord's prayer "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" , i.e., what we are really saying is "and if I have forgiven grudgingly, then God, grudgingly forgive me" or "If I have only partly forgiven my brother, then God, partly forgive me", because what Jesus is teaching here is that we are forgiven in the same measure with which we are forgiving. Justin also brought up the parable of the unforgiving servant whose own debt was forgiven, and some other things. One big point that he made also, was not to use grace as a license to sin, that although God forgives us and Christ's blood covers all our sin, our sin will still have consequences.

It was really amazing and overwhelming. Meeting all these people I know from a website is just really something. I am so tired and its time for sleep.

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