A Touch of Encouragement

A Touch of Encouragement


How Would Love Respond?

posted by Brandi Harkonen

Out of the closet, out of our prayers?
Read the Beliefnet article “CCM veteran Ray Boltz comes out of the closet and confesses he’s gay.



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Bobbie

posted September 30, 2008 at 9:14 am


Martha, I agree we should love our neighbors as ourselves and love the Lord with all your heart! I think we should be concerned about our own hearts and not judge anyone… leave the judging to God. I feel that no one is better or less than anyone else. We are created equal. Accept people for who they are not who we think they should be. Yes, it is a daily effort to be a good person. But I just try my best. Martha, Thank you for being here for us with daily reminders that help us to be better people. God bless you all. Be thankful for what God has provided for us from our needs to the beautiful sky above us…Have a wonderful blessed day!



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Maria

posted September 30, 2008 at 10:47 am


Wow! After what Bobbie said I can only say Amen! I was thinking..what if the gay person was one of my children, will I love my child less for being gay? I don’t think so. I am sure God feels the same way! I know gay people who live a very godly life, and is heartbreaking to see how they live in fear of somebody finding out about their sexual preference even though they do not have a parter or practice sex with a person of their same sex.Until I met this people I used to have an awful concept of gay people, but people are… people, human beigns with the desire to love God, to be accepted, wanted…loved.
There is no way to say that I am a Christ follower and in the same breath say but I HATE this or that person. Christ, our beloved savior searches deeper within, he sees far beyond the apparent, he looks into our hearts and even like that, He still loves us!
Martha, thank you for this video, it really made me stop and think! God Bless!
Maria,El Paso,Tx



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Jackie

posted September 30, 2008 at 10:56 am


Dear Martha,
Thank you for all that you do to bring messages of hope and love. I also agree that we should love our family, friends and neighbours as we do ourselves with a heart full of kindness,caring, compassion, peace and with prayers that are for many blessings for them and us. I believe the Lord taught us to love unconditionally and leave the judging to God.
No one is perfect and everyone is deserving of love and peace. I think that is a lesson that many christians have somehow forgotten and I pray that they will remember what should be filling their hearts as well as their thoughts and that is the unconditional love that Jesus wanted us to have for others. I pray and truly hope that this segment will reach some hearts that are not fully open yet and help them to know the true meaning of unconditionally loving your neighbour as we do ourselves. Which means without judgement
no matter what kind of life they lead in their personal life. We are all God’s children and He loves us all. My heart goes out to this man and his family and I pray that they will have many blessings and support in this time of transition in their lives. I also pray that hardened hearts will soften and realize they are not supposed to be the ones to judge, that is God’s job not anyone else in this world. Let the beauty of the Lord’s unconditional love open your hearts and let it flow freely as it was meant to. Bless you Martha and thank you for this segment because it was something very important to be discussed. Many blessings to you and your family and staff.



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carrie

posted September 30, 2008 at 11:23 am


wow martha. i guess my first reaction was just sadness. i have listened to ray for years and own his cd’s. his music has helped me in so many ways to praise, and i believe brings me closer to God in worship. His love for Christ rings true through his music.
i think of what his family is feeling, the pain, maybe even feeling betrayal. i look back on the time my husband left our family for reasons only known to him. the brokenness he left behind, confusion and the sense of no hope. not given a chance to save our family. he had decided it for us. it has been a long road and my feelings have changes a thousand times, but the love in my heart remains for him.
only God knows the heart of man truly and i believe that he loves ray even now. i still do. i will pray for them all. God will find a way for healing. It may take some time, but he is faithful. i still am overcome for sadness for them all.



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Mary

posted September 30, 2008 at 11:27 am


Martha, I have a son who is gay and I love him as much as I love my other nine children. He is the sweetest and kindest person, I know he would be this way gay or straight. I know that God is our judge and we should not judge other people, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ preached love and I believe is the greatest commandment, love for God, love for our neighbors whereever they are and love for ourselves. Not judgement but love. I pray that this man and his family can keep loving each other and trusting in the Lord. Thank you Martha for all of your inspirational thoughts and sayings.



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Violanda Rodriguez

posted September 30, 2008 at 11:43 am


I’m not familiar with Ray’s music; I may have heard it and not known the artist. I will comment on my own recent experience. I have been a Christian for over 50 some years. I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart, and He has used me to encourage others with His word so many times. Yet I too had a secret–a secret that I wasn’t even aware of myself. I have been abused most of my life by two twins: pride and self-righteousness which come in a package wraped in self-pity. Only recently has God revealed to me the real cause of so much unhappiness within me. Mind you, pride is one thing that the Lord hates; yet in His love, mercy, and grace He still used me to minister unto others. This is why I can relate to Ray. According to the comments and how his gift has been used by God to encourage others, I know that he also has been used by God for His purposes. But in God’s timing Ray will also find healing. The Bible tells us that what we sow, we also reap. Ray has sowed music of healing and he too will receive his own healing by a loving God that has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.



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Connie

posted September 30, 2008 at 11:58 am


“Love Is All We Need” Are we free of error? Are we perfect? Then if I’m not perfect, why I want to judge other?
What I need is LOVE. And You too, God bless you!



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Juliana Truesdell

posted September 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm


Dear Martha,
Thank you once again for your great compassion. I have two grown sons and if one of them told me today, that he was gay, I would be a little bit surprised and yet I would accept the fact. I would love and embrace that son as much as I would the other. I have been a Christian for a very long time and I believe my Gay/Lesbian friends that are believers have every right to worship in churches that accept them as they are.
Kind Regards,
Juliana



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Ruby Bradley

posted September 30, 2008 at 6:17 pm


Hello Martha, thank you for all your inspirational heart felt messages!!! Putting God first and working in the center of everything in my life give me the understanding of His words. I agree, His greatest command~to love Him with all you heart… Not to judge. Be thankful who you are and what God have blessed you with right now!!! Give the glory to God, and thank Him for waking you up every morning!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!



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Carole

posted September 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm


Real Christian love would respond not with judgment but with compassion. Judgment is reserved for God and no one else. The so-called gay lifestyle is not necessarily chosen, they may be born with that attraction to the same sex — the scientific jury is still out on that. In any case, why would anyone “choose” a lifestyle where they are despised, loathed, hated, pitied. discriminated against and ostracized? They wouldn’t choose such a terrible ordeal, so that makes me believe it isn’t a choice on their part. Many of you may disagree but that’s okay. My father was gay, he too was married and fathered two children. Imagine if the situation were reversed and you couldn’t openly love your chosen partner in life. As Christians, please, let’s understand those who may be biologically driven to love the same sex, let’s be compassionate and caring even if we may not agree with how they live their life. That’s what Jesus would do. He was loving and compassionate and understanding to all, including those who were considered sinners by everyone else.



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Bill

posted October 2, 2008 at 1:46 am


Martha, you are an oasis of sanity in a world of Christian voices that sometimes leaves me embarrassed about my faith. I’m serving a God who says there’s nothing more important than loving people. Thank you that in light of this news about Ray Boltz, I’m not embarrassed. I’m challenged to raise a new standard. Or perhaps it’s an old one. To love. Bless you, Bill



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LEE

posted October 2, 2008 at 6:54 am


esus Heals on the Sabbath
Luke 6:1-11
The Question about the Sabbath
(Mt 12.1—8; Mk 2.23—28)
One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them.
Arthur Caliandro
Out of the closet, out of our prayers?
But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
I SAY LOVE THE SINNER AND NOT HIS SINS!!!



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Jim

posted October 2, 2008 at 9:28 am


“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” We Christians must be also aware of the sin of pride, and of judgmentalism. I’m sure this man has gone through unimaginable anguish, and we MUST treat him with compassion and love him as does God. None of us is immune to sin. But for the grace of God, there go I.



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Wil Lavender

posted October 2, 2008 at 2:33 pm


I want to say that I watch and look forward to your messages every week. I want to say thank you for your message today due to the fact that this really hits home. For you see I am Gay as well. It would appear that even in this day and age people still talk bad about gay people but fail to realize that we are people as well. We normal and want to and seek favor of God just the same as others. The unique thing about love and the most wonderful thing about it is love is love. It does not come with any terms or preconditions. It is what it is and that makes it so wonderful for being just that. Once again thank you and I look forward for the next message.



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Bernice F. Cochran

posted October 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm


Martha; I agree we should love the sinner, just as Jesus loved us, for we too are sinners,redeemed by the blood of Jesus, I think we need to love the sinner but not their sin. Pray for all, that one day their eyes will be opened to God’s truth, let God do the convicting,and the transforming. he did it for me! he can do it for all who look to him.
Thank you for your daily offerings, its beautifull to see your statements. In Jesus name I wish you well.Bernice



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Morena Guadalupe Gonzalez Castro de Hauser

posted October 2, 2008 at 10:50 pm


Jesus made no difference between sinners and taught us tolerance when defending the adulterous woman. He gave us a lesson on mercy and understanding by putting aside our prejudices when he allowed the public woman to wash his feet and annoy Him with her best and expensive oil. Though the Bible says in Romans that people of the same gender engaging in sex is an abomination to God, Jesus in His divine mercy would have never ever rejected anyone under any of those circumstances. I like to think, next time I might wish to criticize someone for his or her sexual preferences or type of life, that I am not better than Jesus to judge anyone.
Like you remind us today, love is all we need to understand others and to act as Christians when encountered with a moral and ethical dilemma.



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Cathy Dolan

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:54 am


I would not like to be judged by imperfect people and I refuse to judge this man or any other. God loves us all and we are all sinners. My life will be judged by god. I love the Lord and he loves us all. Let those of us free of sin cast the first stone.



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radine

posted October 3, 2008 at 2:09 am


Jesus forgives and loves most of all, and what I wish for Ray Boltz, whose music and words have been an inspiration for me for a long time, is that he may, and his family may find peace and strength, and know that the same heart beats now in a man who says he is gay as the man the day before who did not claim this. In that heart is love and that is all Jesus asks of us, is to love. Bless you Ray Boltz on this hard decision.



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DJ

posted October 3, 2008 at 4:40 am


Hello Martha,
I for one would like to skip the all of the political side of this and, get right into the human side of things. My bible KJV reads in 1Cor 13:4-8 what true love is.I can only assume that perhaps Mr. Boltz’s consciences has weighted quite heavly for the past 33 years!!!, Lord have Mercy. You’re absloately right I can’t and, truefully don’t want to imagine what this guy has gone through. I know one thing is for sure God has a reason and, purpose for everything He does. In time this too shall be made knowen, until said time I for one will continue to pray for this world wide family of mankind that was created by God, for God, he created in his image(Genesis 1:26) we then are precious in his sight. All of us,not just one or some but all, as a child of God. I personally feel that I should then pray for the wisdom to handle all things in a manner that would be pleasing to him. It’s not My call to judge anyone, I’m not qualified.
Blessings to everyone
DJ



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rene del pozo

posted October 3, 2008 at 5:14 am


God be with you. May He in His inmence love guife our thougths that rule our hearts. I
pray and love all sinners including myself. I have a story, I gave bible classes to three
brothers. the three are very talented, rgey sing, act and realy entertain our humble church. One was gay,( I say was ) this is how I say it because when he gave his life to Jesus he became a new born christian, washed in the blood of the sheep.Only He has the power to change the heart and purify. The question is. Does he practice these feelings
if so lets all look towards Jesus and pray He makes hi, whole. Thank you. RENE. in JESUS name
HE IS CLAY AND WILL BE REMOLDED



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rene del pozo

posted October 3, 2008 at 5:26 am


Hello Martha, ( GOD IS LOVE ) So it is how would ( He respond.) I believe that the truth will set this man free, and he will be qreat testimony to all gay people that still dont know Jesus. What better purpose. We should praise His Love Wisdom and Power
God be with you. May He in His inmence love guife our thougths that rule our hearts. I
pray for and love all sinners including myself. I have a story, I gave bible classes to three
brothers. the three are very talented, rgey sing, act and realy entertain our humble church. One was gay,( I say was ) this is how I say it because when he gave his life to Jesus he became a new born christian, washed in the blood of the sheep.Only He has the power to change the heart and purify. The question is. Does he practice these feelings
if so lets all look towards Jesus and pray He makes hi, whole. Thank you. RENE. in JESUS name
HE IS CLAY AND WILL BE REMOLDED



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kelly

posted October 3, 2008 at 5:43 am


people need more inspirational advice like yours keep it up



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Out of the Closet

posted October 3, 2008 at 6:22 am


Martha,
I am a newly born again Christian. For so long I have refused to have anything to do with Christianty because of the judgemental attitudes of the people. So when God spoke to me 6 years ago to go to church because that is where I needed to be, I went. I found God that day. I still believe that Christians are judgemental people. I see it in the churches all the time. We had a day of testimonies and I saw how some of those who revealed their secrets were treated afterwards. It makes me ask one simple question. Who are they that gives them the right to judge God’s people for the sins they had committed and given to the Lord. I do believe that God judge’s not the person but the sin. We are all sinners daily and therefore have no room to judge anyone who is like us, a sinner. It does not make any difference what the sin is. My second question about this man, Has he acted on this sin or suppressed it? If he is a gay man, but have withheld his tendencies to commit that sin then he has not sinned against God. He has instead stayed true to God’s word and have lived a life that Jesus would be proud to call him son.



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LESLEY RIVERA

posted October 3, 2008 at 6:39 am


AS FOR ME. MY GOD IS LOVE. BUT WHO ARE WE TO JUGDE, NO ONE. SO I CAN ONLY GO WITH WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS. THAT NO PERSON WHO COMMITS SEXUAL IMORTAL ACT WILL SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. SO IF HE REPENTS, IM SURE THE LORD FORGIVES HIM AND EVERY SIN OUT THERE. THATS THE REASON HE SENT HIS ONLY SON JESUS CHRIST TO DIE ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY FOR US/SINNERS. I DONT REALLYPAY NO MIND ABOUT OTHER PEOPLES SINS. I JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT I AM WALKING THE WAY THE LORD WANTS ME TO WALK. BUT IF ANYONE OUT THERE NEEDS A HAND IM THERE TO HELP ANYONE AND GIVE MY ADVICE SO GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU AMEN



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Tonia

posted October 3, 2008 at 7:28 am


We are composed of lots of different traits. No one trait defines us. Each of us is human, tht is what binds us, it is culture and experience and genetic factors that influence our behavior. We can manifest any part of humanity given the right circumstances. God asks us to love each other, to help each other get thru this life, he’ll do the judging thank you. All we have in this worldly life is one another, the relationships we cultivate. If we come from the position of love we are sitting next to God. We must not judge that which we do not understand, cannot understand. We must be open and loving and supporting. God will do the judging on Judgment Day, that man is my brother, he needs our love and support to feel whole. He has given of the talent that was bestowed upon him, he brings us a message, a message of love and hope and peace. I must love my neighbor as myself, and there are parts of me that I struggle with every day, so it stands to reason that I will struggle with who my neighbor is from time to time and realize that God loves us all, forgives us our humanity, and continues to love us evermore. Who among is is without sin? Let him cast the first stone. It sure isn’t me brother.



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Katherine

posted October 3, 2008 at 8:02 am


I agree with what so many others have written that we are to love as God loves us all with AGAPE LOVE! We are not to judge others but to pray for one another without ceasing and to hurt and share others pain. I do believe and know that our God is a forgiving God and has a plan and purpose for us all. He know our begining as well as our end and only God can judge Ray. I just pray that Ray’s family can pull thru this with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and continue to fight a good fight of faith as a family. We as people should not allow people flaws or shortcomings to cause us to gossip or dislike them. We should see people or others as God see them. He looks at their hearts and not their out appearance! My heart and my prayers goes out to ray and his family!
I use to be torn by what the bible states about homosexuality being an abomination but it did not state that we as people must cast those that chose to live that way to hell on earth! So, I decided to love my friends that confess to be homosexual and allow God to work on me and shortcomings!



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Deeann Hiben

posted October 3, 2008 at 8:31 am


Hello,
Martha you are right on target,word for word. Everything you said, is exactly how I feel about Conservatives and Liberals.What would Jesus do? Everytime I hear judgement on people for their actions,choices,lifesstyles, etc…it irritates me. Because those that judge and condem use thier conservative, dogmatic,self-righteous beliefs to knock down and belittle others,giving themselves this persona that their better…instead of lifting up and empowering those that need support,love, understanding, and compassion.
Exactly, what would Jesus do? Jesus is not judgemental,he is the loving,compassionate son of God that freely gives us unconditional love, our savior.God knows our life story, God gives us choices, forgives us our sin,God loves all of us, the decisions we make is between God and oursleves. Nobody else has authority as to judge our actions.
Thank you so much for sharing this story and for sharing your thoughts. I also hope and Pray your friend, this talented musician and father, and all those he loves finds inner peace, strength, courage, wisdom, and unconditional love during stressful and difficut days the may have. Blessings to you and to them.



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Anonymous

posted October 3, 2008 at 8:39 am


God is faithful and forgives us of all our sins. Ask forgiveness, it will be done. You are great in the eyes of God. We do not have a hell or heaven to put you in. Trust God iin all things. Continue to sing to the glory of God.



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Bernadette Huntley

posted October 3, 2008 at 9:44 am


Homosexuality is just fulfilling the lust of the flesh. The word say consult the Lord daily and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. I love everyone but I know what the word says about these things. People want to pretend that there’s nothing in the word that speaks against it. So in a sense I agree with showing love but we still must as ministers, evangelist, pastors and missionary leaders must give the world the truth about the word of God. You can not sugar coat it and ask what would Jesus do because as John says we are not worthy to tie His sandals so how can we use that phrase, even the prophets of old time got in bad perdicrements when trying to think like God. God gives us our instructions we have no need to try to figure things out. When God needs to correct us He do, and He still loves us. When we continue to disobey God’s word stern correct is there to show us the right road. To render God word either in song or in a sermon and not keep yourself from all appearances of evil is showing you as a lukewarm Christian. The word says that He himself will spit you out. I would love to pray for this man because we all as sheep have gone astray at one time.



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mary

posted October 3, 2008 at 9:56 am


Martha, so beautifully said.
Did you know that car exhaust, chlorine in our water supply, plastics that package just about all of our foods and beverages, most all name brand lotions and personal care products contain parabens and a host of other every day toxins that we encounter are estrogenic? I truly believe that the rise in homosexuality is due in part to our environment and all the known endocrine system disruptors out there. We ingest enough plastic that the EPA has an RDA for it.
For this reason, I can’t fully believe that homosexuality is a choice. And, I am certainly not one to judge anyone’s behavior without knowing every single thing about that individual which is information usually hidden even from the individual themself.
My heart goes out to this man and his family. Again, thank you Martha, at your attempts to temper such a sad situation with grace and compassion.
Mary, Brandon, MS



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Alice Holguin

posted October 3, 2008 at 10:03 am


Martha, I for one am no one to judge Ray. I can testify that through his song “There Stood A Lamb” I was brought to my knees, saved and healed. Thanks to those beautiful words in this particular song, I felt the Lord telling me that no one is worthy and there will be times when we feel that way,especailly when we go through rough things in life, but Jesus was willing to die for my sins and the sins of the world and HE made us worthy. Finding this out saddens me but I know that the Lord has done great things, touched many hearts and converted many people through Ray’s music and will continue to do so. We can thank GOD that what was in darkness for Ray, has been brought to light, for when we thank HIM we invite HIM to become part of what we are going through. It is through this times the Lord will only make us stronger and bring us closer to him, at least it has for me. My prayers are with Ray and his family and only wish the best for them. Thank you and God Bless you.



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Lisa

posted October 3, 2008 at 10:09 am


Ms. Williamson,
You seem like a nice lady, but I want to hear his story, not your long narrative. And I’m not even gay. Why must you give a long drawn out speech before the real subject of the story is presented?
Good narrators blend into the background. Please less you, more of the subjects.
Thank you.



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Arlene

posted October 3, 2008 at 11:03 am


Dear Martha,
Jesus died so that we might be reconciled to God. He loved us so much He gave up His thrown at the right hand of God and entered into our time and space to shed His blood to atone for our sins. Because our God is ALL loving AND ALL just the punishment rightly demanded for sin had to be carried out. So, Jesus “became sin” so that our just penalty could be paid.
God is changeless. All sin is STILL offensive to Him. Though we who believe in Jesus have been justified through Him, Jesus still asks us to obey Him. He said, “IF you love me, you will obey Me.”
We are all sinners and we as Christians must confess our sins and earnestly ask God to give us the grace to overcome them. And we must help those who come to us and help them, in Love and Truth. Love without Truth is not Love. The woman who was caught in adultery was forgiven by Jesus, but was also told to “Go and sin no more.”
Let us lift up Ray in prayer and ask our Heavenly Father to give Him the grace to rebuke this lifestyle and maintain one that is pleasing in God’s eyes. May this be so with us all,
In Jesus’ Name,
Arlene



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sharon malone

posted October 3, 2008 at 11:04 am


MARTHA,I DON,T FEEL ANY DIFFERENT TOWARDS RAY BOLTZ.I HAVE BEEN SO BLESSED BY HIS MUSIC,AND MY 2 YOUNGEST SONS FOR YEARS.WE LOVED THANK YOU FOR GIVING TO THE LORD.I FEEL SO BAD HEARING WHAT HE MUST HAVE GONE THROUGH ALL OF THOSE YEARS.HE EVEN MADE AN APPEARANCE AT OUR CHURCH.I PRAYED FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY FOR PEACE AND HEALING FOR THEM.MAY GOD BLESS THEM ABUNDANTLY AND MEET ALL OF THEIR NEEDS IN A MIGHTY POWERFUL WAY.THANKS FOR SHARING ABOUT DEAR RAY MARTHA.



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Arlene

posted October 3, 2008 at 11:07 am


Dear Martha,
Jesus died so that we might be reconciled to God. He loved us so much He gave up His thrown at the right hand of God and entered into our time and space to shed His blood to atone for our sins. Because our God is ALL loving AND ALL just the punishment rightly demanded for sin had to be carried out. So, Jesus “became sin” so that our just penalty could be paid.
God is changeless. All sin is STILL offensive to Him. Though we who believe in Jesus have been justified through Him, Jesus still asks us to obey Him. He said, “IF you love me, you will obey Me.”
We are all sinners and we as Christians must confess our sins and earnestly ask God to give us the grace to overcome them. And we must help those who come to us and help them, in Love and Truth. Love without Truth is not Love. The woman who was caught in adultery was forgiven by Jesus, but was also told to “Go and sin no more.”
Let us lift up Ray in prayer and ask our Heavenly Father to give Him the grace to rebuke this lifestyle and maintain one that is pleasing in God’s eyes. May this be so with us all,
In Jesus’ Name,
Arlene



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Cheryl

posted October 3, 2008 at 11:13 am


I appreciate all of the comments about loving the “sinner” rather than judging him. What we must remember, though, is that God created us in His image. That is, He created us as spiritual beings. By creating in our minds a god that judges his creation based on our cultural beliefs, we are creating other gods before Him. God is not effected by sexual experience, whether it be hetero or homo. The spiritual issue behind the sexual issue is choosing love or hate. I’m sure you can guess God’s choice. Sexual behavior can be loving and giving or it can be controling and greedy. God doesn’t care about the act of sex nor the genders of the participants, rather, He cares about the underlying purpose of the act. Is it to share love or is it to control? Those who would judge one for their sexual preference use sex to control. God sees each one of us as the perfect spiritual being he created. The idea of sin was created by man. The idea itself is the sin. When we let go of the idea of sin and embrace the idea of unconditional love for one another and complete trust in God, we will be free in a magnitude unimaginable to those who choose to believe in sin. One either believes in our loving God or one believes in sin. The two are opposites and do not go hand in hand. It is time for the awakening of our souls and God is using Ray to help us along. When we focus only on love, all of this chatter passes away. My love and God’s blessings to all creation. May God enlighten our mind now. And so it is!



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Vaughn

posted October 3, 2008 at 12:09 pm


Dear Martha Thank you for this one you hit the nail right on the head. You are right I just came out two years ago I am 55 I was scared very scarebut was one of the best things I ever did. My church family,family,friends and x-wife all took me in with open arms and have been there 100% and yes GODS love gos a long long way and I do thank him every day bless you for what you do and you do keep me going every day Thanks Vaughn



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arlene

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:09 pm


We should look at the culture through the eyes of the Bible. We should NOT look at the Bible through the eyes of the culture.
Jesus DIED for our SINS. Sins are offensive to God and joyful to the devil. We are tempted every day to follow the prince of this age. Who are you following? Your own desires or God’s?
Jesus said “You are either for Me or against Me.”
” If you love Me, you will obey.”
You cannot follow Christ ( that is what a true Christian does ) and not read His Word. Have you read it ??
St Augustine said ” IF you believe what YOU want to believe in the Word of God and reject what you DON’T want to believe, it is NOT the Word of God you believe in- but yourself.”
God knows best.



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arlene

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm


Some beginners in the divine life think that they cannot be tempted without sinning, but they mistake;
there is no sin in being tempted, but there is sin in yielding to temptation.
Herein is comfort for the sorely tempted ones. There is still more to encourage them if they reflect that the Lord Jesus, though tempted, gloriously triumphed, and as He overcame, so surely shall His followers also, for Jesus is the representative man for His people; the Head has triumphed, and the members share in the victory.
Fears are needless, for Christ is with us, armed for our defence. Our place of safety is the bosom of the Saviour. Perhaps we are tempted just now, in order to drive us nearer to Him.
Blessed be any wind that blows us into the port of our Saviour’s love! Happy wounds, which make us seek the beloved Physician. Ye tempted ones, come to your tempted Saviour, for He can be touched with a feeling of your infirmities, and will succour every tried and tempted one.



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joan

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:20 pm


i love rays music. we as christians have to embrace him because he is our brother, pray for him because the word commands us to. we have to comfort him and stand by him . we have to be who we say we are by deed and not just by word. thansk for the video it remnds us to be who we say we say are. have a blessed day!!



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Sherry

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm


Thank You for what you said. Please put Touched back on! Only good thing there was on television!
I believe that our lives are not to judge. We are here to live our lives to the “Best of our ability”. If you are judgeing and quoting scripture as I’m seeing so many doing. There is a scripture for that also.Not sure of exact quote, Something about removing the log from your eye before you remove the speck from your brothers eye! Something like that and the other I recall from Sunday school. You who has no sin cast the first stone.
You see judgement day will be here soon enough!
God Bless! Have a Great day!



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Q U A D R Y

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm


LOVE’s response is that we are commanded to love the sinner and hate the sin. I agree with Arlene in the fact that we should pray for this man to rebuke him from his sin. It is biblical to do so and a directive by God Himself that when a believer sins we are to correct him in a manner that is loving and in accordance with God’s will. God’s will allows for love to the sinner and hate for the sin. By accepting his homosexual lifestyle we enable this man’s thinking errors that sin is acceptable in God’s eyes and give the perception that God would do the same. And because of this man’s profession (a Christian music artist) if we accept his homosexual lifestyle we send a dangerous message that we(Christians) endorse this lifestyle and contradict our own beliefs and doctrines that admonish the sin.



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Bin

posted October 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm


I feel every person has a purpose in life and this guy has defenetly done his part with his music.music is divine and reaches God soon than anyother way! U can see any religion in the world,music has got a defenite role.It takes lot of courage to declare something which is personal and we should respect him for that.But in this world of Hippocracy and in an attempt to safegaurd our own religious beleifs we are forgetting the basic religion we all belong to HUMAN!I thought God loved the sinners. we all are sinners and he died for us so lets give our lives for his purpose,which was to LOVE.It is said that when we point out a finger at someone the other three fingers are actually looking at us!Lets make this world more beautiful with love.
LETS BE HUMAN BEFORE BEING A CHRISTIAN!



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wildstar

posted October 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm


Yeah let’s get all warm and fuzzy about sin that God flat out hates and let’s all be politically correct because we may offend someone and water down what God says in the Bible. Just keep in mind that Jesus is coming back with a SWORD.
No one has bothered to think about the wife that this guy BETRAYED. She’s the victim along with any children they had together. Never mind liberal or conservative. What about standing up for what God says is right? No…we don’t want to offend anyone. Let’s embrace everything under the blasted sun.
Any sexual immorality is not going to fly with God, no matter how you want to cover it up and dress it up. God hates all sin. I know a lot of people think that Paul is not important and was voicing his own views. Well they are sadly mistaken. God told Paul what to write through the Holy Spirit and if it is written that it is a sin that men lust after each other, then that’s it. It’s not a matter of being conservative or liberal. God has nothing to do with stupid human politics. It has to do with standing up for God, not man. Christians don’t hate gay people, they just hate sin as their Father hates sin. I guess it depends on WHO you call Dad. But whatever you decide make sure you can stand face to face with Jesus and tell Him why. (Just remember He’s got that sword in His hand, too.)



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Arlene

posted October 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm


AMEN WILDSTAR !
Let’s stand up for the Word of God.
Love the sinner. Hate the sin.



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Kevin

posted October 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm


Martha, what so many posters here seem to be forgetting is that love is not sex! Paul was a single man that chose to refrain from any type of sin including sex without marriage. It does not make you gay and it is not displeasing to God that you can love another man, in fact it is very pleasing that we love all people, including those that claim to be homosexual, it is not pleasing to God that we continue to try to some how make sex with the same gender okay. Sex with out marriage is a sin and God and Jesus both say clearly that marriage is to occur only between a man and a woman. Peace and love to all!



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Dori

posted October 3, 2008 at 7:04 pm


Way to go Bobbie! I agree, Love responds with acceptance of that person as they are and not as we would have them to be. Love separates the act from the actor and can see clearly the divine spark within all. Love is pure perception. Truly, with all the many ways one can sin (miss the mark) who can the cast the first stone? Is that not what Jesus asked? I believe He would ask it again in this and any other.



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Rita

posted October 3, 2008 at 9:13 pm


Martha,
I agree 100% with your little video on what would love say. My uncle is gay, and you know it may be a sin, but God tells us not to judge, so who am I to try to condem him? At least he does believe in the three in one Jesus god and the holy spirit.



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Mardi

posted October 3, 2008 at 9:18 pm


I agree with Kevin…Loving our same gender with the same degree that we love ourselves is a God thing. It surpasses our senses. What I imagine when questioning anyone’s behavior, is that person and I being the only people on earth. If that person DOESN”T have Christ, it would be my obligation to sustain my Christianity by living a healthy spritiual life, and speaking out against the sin, not the sinner.



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Linda

posted October 4, 2008 at 12:03 am


Hi there Martha, I love your videos and your inspirational stories. Now to comment on your video How Would Love Respond I would pray and speak this scripture that says in Leviticus 18:22 “Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it as an enormous sin“. I would pray and speak this into Ray`s spirit; cuz the power of prayer is exactly that powerful; and God hears our cries and our prayers. I love his music and have his tapes & will continue to listen to him cuz as a Christian I love Jesus first and His love lives in me so I can`t help but love other people regardless of their color, race or gender. Through faith and prayer I would leave him in God`s hands and believe that the Holy Spirit will move and convict his heart to turn from his sin and return to what God`s purpose is for his life. God Bless Linda October 3/08



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Jonas Ehiogu

posted October 4, 2008 at 1:11 am


Hey, thanks for sharing that little clip. All i can say is that “love” is the greatest law and it is on LOVE that all other laws are clearly hinged. Be it as it may, if you have no love in you, you have nothing, for every other thing is vanity. The question no one is asking, is when did this start? How far in history has this been with us? I strongly believe that homosexuality in it’s self is not a sin but the abuse of it is. The same as when hetrosexuals abuse sex in one way or the other. People should search their souls and hearts and rearalize that there is a little of each in all of us. May be not to the same degree but it is there. Supressing the urge may do more harm than good. For the sake of the ones we love, may be some times the closet is better than the freedom we selfishly seek, for every freedom has a price tag to it. It does not come free. “Tolerance and judicious decorum should be the basis of our Christiandom.”



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Sharon

posted October 4, 2008 at 8:08 am


I feel that God wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves. God loves everyone so why shouldn’t we. I have a family member who is gay and I love him just as much. I feel that for whatever reason a person is gay, we are to pray for them as we would anyone else and not shun them or mistreat them. I being a devout Christian would never judge them, as it is up to God as he is our creator. Thank you for sharing this story. God bless us all.



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Gary Flaminio

posted October 4, 2008 at 9:21 am


Yes , the Bible talks about loving your neighbor. But what it also says is to Love the sinnerb but hate the sin. And Gay is a sin. So I would love him enough to try and help him just as Jesus woudl. That is how love would respond.



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Deborah

posted October 4, 2008 at 9:46 am


There is a song by an artist by the name of Musiq and these are the beginning words “Love so many people use your name in vain.” God is love and there is no other way to look at love than to see Him. Judging is not something that man should be doing. If you are just as you say a believer in God and His way then see yourself as one who is not without sin. Each sin is according to the individual and judgement is according to God.



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sylvia

posted October 4, 2008 at 9:57 am


Hi Martha,
Thanks for this interesting topic.As a bible study student, i understand that john7:1 talked about judging others,but note that Jesus was talking to his disciples and not to the general public. We should know that God is not a respecter of any human reasoning about homosexuality.Many places in the old and new testament, God calls it an abomination and we cannot change it.All we christian can do for our brother and family is to pray for them because no one is infallible.



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James T Faulds

posted October 5, 2008 at 10:18 am


Bless you Martha for sharing this story with us. God did not put on this earth to judge one another. I do not agree with being gay but I respect Mr. Boltz for being honest with himself and others. All that I believe we as Christians can do is to pray for him and his family so that God can lead them thru this difficult time. This situation also reminds me of a famous quote from Voltare; “I don’t have to agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Again, thank you for sharing this story with us and have a Blessed Day.



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Hopeful

posted October 5, 2008 at 10:19 am


What an inspiring mesage. I, myself, am dealing with who and how to come out of the closet. i am recently divorced, christioan mother to three little ones and i have come to terms eith my sexuality and now I am figuring out how to change my lifestyle and to be honest with my friends and family. Thank you for the words of encouragment. I feel rid of guilt.



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Betty Bitzer

posted October 5, 2008 at 10:23 am


I have some dear treasured friends who are gay and I honestly do not understand their lifestyle. Some are terribly torn and believe homosexuality is a sin and separate from their partners. While they are separated, they are truly miserable. There are many things I do not understand, people who are hateful and judgmental, people who are selfish, some who are terribly controling, I could go on and on. Some people are so difficult all I can do is stay away from them, as they weaken me. What I do know for sure is I’m going to do my best in every situation to be as kind and understanding as possible, and do my best to please my God and live as He would want me to. Yes, there are many times when I fail, but when I meet my Lord face to face, would hope he would say “well done.”



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Taratree

posted October 5, 2008 at 11:39 am


I have been wanting to share my opinion on this subject for a very long time…so thanks for the opportunity. 1st- I am a Christian…I have trouble understanding religious people who do not love or respect those who are differnent from them. I agree that we are to love one another…also to love the “unlovable” as Jesus put it…however, with God living inside you (e.g. the holy spirit) it is impossible NOT to love all God’s children. Re being gay–I have lived nearly 60 years on this planet and have lived in a variety of cities and towns across our nation, from Hawaii to the East Coast. I have met many types of people from all kinds of backgrounds, and sexual persuasions. This is what I have discovered about people who are Gay:
1. For some it is a matter of the best choice they could make for themselves when they were young based on survival –one friend told me he was “shamed” into being a gay man, because when he was a child, he got caught fooling around with a girl and yelled at and humiliated so severely (and publically) his young mind then decided that “girls were trouble” and when in high school he was approached by a gay guy, it seemed the best alternative for him to receive love and comfort from another human being…this became the pattern of his life…he never really thought he was gay, but this life seemed “safe” for him, based on this early life trauma.
2. I once heard a lecture by a student from Yale who did a survey of gay women on campus…approx. 85% of those gay women had been raped or sexually molested BEFORE the age of 13 or 14!! Here again, the early trauma lead them to believe that “men are monsters” –and women are they only safe people with whom to to have a relationship.
3. I have meet other gays who just seem gay by their mannerisms and even their body types. I had a gay friend (female) who told me –“look at how I am constructed–my hips, the way I walk naturally–I just am not a woman…I am really more like of a man–in the way I act, my physical attributes, and the way I feel.” She too was married to a man for a while when she was in her 20’s, but never felt comfortable being a woman.
Some people just generate more or less hormones or have a genetic code that dictates a physical outcome that is not clearly one sex or the other, TO NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. Once I went to a bird store and saw a parakeet that was completely black on side going from head to tail feathers, and completely white on the other…but it was still a parakeet, it just did not have the usual parakeet markings.
4. I have read that a study showed that some gay men have too much of the testosterone hormone…
5. I saw a excellent documentary on transexuals–where a woman became a man, with hormones, and “her” girlfriend, was a formerly a man and became a woman also using hormones…it was impossible to tell that they were once another sex! Finally they were happy and comfortable with themselves…the person who was formerly a woman, made this comment: All her early life, she just felt like she was a boy –no matter how many dresses she wore, or how “girl” oriented her life was…even to the point of marrying and giving birth to two children…she said inside her head she was always a man…nothing could change that…it was though she had the consciousness of a male in a female body…with or without male or female hormones. It was a touching documentary, as it showed that the only response to people being different from what we might expect or want them to be (for our own comfort!) is COMPASSION… which is a form of love.
6. We are instucted not to judge, lest we be judged–I applaud people for being open, honest in revealing who they are, no matter what they are, as long as they do no harm to themselves or others. Remember, kindness and understanding, begets more kindness and understanding…really, in the grand scheme of things who are we to judge…ultimatly it is God who judges our hearts and actions…and I know the most important question He will ask us on that final judgement day, is, “Were you kind?” The rest is really not that important.



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Taratree

posted October 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm


Re my post (“I have waited a long time…”) Just FYI –I am not gay, nor do I have any inclination towards being gay, though I have had a number of very good gay friends.
Reading another post, I do agree that many hormone disrupters (hormones added to animal feed, outgassing of plastic material(especially beverage containers), pesticides, etc.) may be contributing to gender confusion for some of our youth…this is a serious problem that needs to be researched carefully…



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Jaydee

posted October 6, 2008 at 3:14 am


I llok at this situation and first and foremost Thank you for having this touch of encouragement.
I don’t think anyone wants to really hate their self or be wrong in the eyes of God.
Yet I have to wonder myself what would love really say in this subject brought to us.
First off I dont think Love really goes for accusations or that we have to degrade
someone because somehow the fear inside them made them hide what is their truth
for sometime because of exactly how some will react.
Sure betrayal confusion lies half truths (which falls under lies),but how hard it must be for all concerned…some feelings of even being dirty and fear that you are only counted as such. What a heart breaking time for the whole family and all of them to hear some of Gods people say who is going to hell and who will be in Heaven- Is that really fair Is It Love? (I dont believe every Christian acts as a pharisee)
Matt 23:13
13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Love covers amultitude of sins…
I dont think only one time does the trick I think it takes time to see someone consistent that they care about your salvation they care about your spiritual growth and having Jesus in your Heart ….you see many say it sadly actions prove differently of what they say
Never mind the devout christian family man or woman who rubber necks going down the street in their car yet its still sin- and it can cause harms to others
I dont mean to rabbit trail but I think Love would answer in that we cant throw stones when we ourselves have sin going on in word deed or thought.
None of its okay is the bottom line but love says I have sinned too and I have been guilty even if not the same sin.
Love Peace Hope and Healing to Everyone here and especially Ray Boltz and His loved ones.
PS Please dont make a child of God an outcast just because He kept sinning.
Some Sins take Time to Overcome otherwise None of us would be here now to post comments we’d already be with Jesus
Thanks for letting me Shaere



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Siobhan

posted October 6, 2008 at 4:00 am


Around 10 years ago I worked as a college administrator in student activities at a university and I was assigned to a student organization to supervise a Christian concert on campus. The performer was Ray Boltz. My colleagues and students questioned my willingness to assist with the show especially since my background was major rock concerts and our office advised the LGBTA group on campus. I enjoyed working the event because the student volunteers did an excellent job and Ray Boltz was easy to accommodate as a performer. When I met him briefly, he was very nice and down to earth. I can not imagine the courage and the strength it took for Ray to publicly announce he is gay. His coming out may help a number of young gay teens who are Christians. These young people may not have anyone else to talk about their feelings. Ray might be someone they can connect with because of his Christianity and music career.
In working with college students I have learned being gay is not a choice but being happy is. When a person decides to be true to one’s self then they call it a choice. When they decide to continue to pretend to be someone who is acceptable to one’s families and community–it is called depression and often leads to suicide. I am so glad we are at a time that more young people can feel free to be themselves and they can spend their college years concentrating on their academics and future rather than worrying about what will happen if people know they are gay. Tolerance and compassion makes a major difference on the mental health of these young people.



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Sandy

posted October 6, 2008 at 7:02 am


Yes, Martha, God bless you! How would love respond? Love would respond in kind, giving uconditional love to this man and so many others, love would offer support, prayers, anything of a loving nature that would help this man and his family who are dealing with a heavy cross. Love doesn’t judge, put limitations. or offer anything else of a negative aspect. Its the 2nd Greatest Commandment that Our Lord gave us and to truly walk in His path, we too must love uncondemeningly and unconditionally!
Yes, that’s how love would respond.



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Jan

posted October 6, 2008 at 5:16 pm


Jaydee, you had so much to say, so many right on! I did too, lol!
I may have sounded Pharisee like,(religious) but no, it was not my intention. Christianity,(mine), is of the heart. It is of the heart period we must always realize that for starters, otherwise it’s a clanging cymbal a noisy gong!
By the way Martha, I love your blogs, your sharing and insights keep it up! They bless my life weekly.
I have friends who are gay and I feel (sense) thier pain, thier uncomfortableness at times, I also hear thier obvious rebellion in conversation, all of us being human, as we all are, they hear also mine.* making a face* but smiling!
The subject, in complete truthfullness, sharing of deep feelings and honesty, in conversation, well, it has not come up with them, no. They know my beliefs, so it is something that is avoided by them mostly, I figure. I’m not pushy nor judgemental, nor condemning, yet I do have my life, my strong beliefs. A life not without stain or hardship, trials, shattering revelations, realities, you name it! I try to keep it real, thats my lifes motto these day. Growing up really, in different churches, denominations, being around all sorts and kinds..at 53 I hope I have and feel I have, learned so much.
I still would approach it with faith in God, His love though, just as I do anything else.
My heart goes out to Ray and his family, he built a life, relationship with a woman for 30 years, wow. Must feel like death now? His wife, must have been crushed, it has to feel like betrayal, right? The kids thier feelings, hurt, anger, most of all memories of a life lived..then shattered? So many feelings, hardships, torments, anger, hurts, yet we all sin, we all fall short of God’s glory, daily weekly, yearly. We know that His word has to be taken in full context, we cannot pick and choose what we want. It all has to be done, read spoken, shared,all in His love, no doubt.
So I guess the answer is His love..and prayer, His word, with knowledge and His wisdom added, because in each situation there have to be certain reasons, things that have happened, past, present, etc..etc..Alot!! I just feel that most people can be afraid, apathetic, too busy with thier own lives etc..to even approach most things that are really important in life..and in reality things can get worse because of..I pray this is not the case..here..
We live in a society that has changed, declined??, grown??? dramitically in the last 4 decades..God help us!! We pray for our nation and it’s leaders dear Lord and for Your peace.
God be with this family through all this, cause it’s got to be hard and hurt so deeply. Our prayers mostly, above all.
Jan



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Mike

posted October 8, 2008 at 9:09 am


We, as Christians, need to be very careful with this subject. While it is very easy to justify things by saying “all sin is alike in God’s eyes,” perhaps we need to examine that thought. Let us be careful not to be drawn into the world’s philosophy that it is just a matter of choice, or the person is a victim, that’s why they do what they do. Sin is sin, yes. But remember, God didn’t destroy cities because the city was greatly involved in lying, or gossip, or gluttony, or just any other sin. He destroyed them because of what He called an abomination. God sees homosexuality as more than just a sin. (I refuse to call it “gay”, because even that gives into softening the acceptance of it.) He sees it as an abomination. Read Romans 1 and see if it is just another sin in God’s eyes. While all sin can be forgiven by God, there are sins that He DOES say are greater, as can be seen by His attitude and punishment of them. All sin can be forgiven, but there are sins that disqualify a Christian from Christian Service before God’s people. God demands purity from His people. That does not mean perfection, but it DOES mean purity from acceptance of sin around us. Read the attitudes of the Old Testament prophets. Read the messages and attitudes of the New Testament disciples and writers. It’s time we call sin sin….and not overlook it because we don’t want to appear to be bigots, or homophobes, or any other label that the world puts on us. Even Christians are guilty of labeling by saying someone is unloving for taking a stand. Most everyone who reads this will accuse me of not having Christian love because of this. After all, Jesus accepted the sinners around Him. Yes, but he was very INtolerant of the religious leaders who were pretending to be perfect on the outside but were filled with sin on the inside, but yet continued on in their “service”. We need to get back to what God says in His Word, rather than following the latest Christian author in a book from a Christian book store.



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Jan

posted October 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm


You’re absolutely right Mike, it is called an abomination, that was my point in my very 1st comment that was removed from here. I was just trying to say that sin perverts us to the extreme at times and God calls us out of it period, throughout our lives. We need to not ignore that. It’s part of His word. (each life) Its called working out your salvation.
None of us are perfect, without sin, but we do need to look at that. We need to pray for these people, not hate them, that they be restored to what God intended for them. (ray Boltz and his family) Love can be tough as displayed by Jesus.(we call it tough love) I see you’re point exactly though and agree.
Jan



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Claudia

posted December 3, 2008 at 3:48 pm


Do not judge him…



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Elaine in New York

posted February 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm


Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor. Precisely. But, the bible also says that a union was designed for a man and a woman. Anything other than that is not divine or sanctioned by God. God made union for man and woman. The Gay unions are man-made and an arrangement made on earth. Why God didn’t make it for same gender unions – only he knows. He simply told us to love him and love our neighbor. He’ll deal with the rest.



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Zena

posted March 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm


Good morning. At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: Sanyo split ductless air conditioning. I found only this – installing ductless split air conditioning. Hilal who have trickle the all the games got online selections; elevator, split air conditioning. Caldwell defeated down schr?¶er’s ceiling and recovered to summer, split air conditioning. Thank :eek: Zena from Scotland.



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Celandine

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm


Hi guys. Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important. Help me! I find sites on the topic: Clickbank affiliate program. I found only this – canon powershot sd800is date stamp feature. Ronald fields, a several thing of a new york corner few use, disputed an exposure numbering an national difference on the forgery a police shot an secret the such problem addressed, date stamp. Feldman fact issued pictures about the storm, date stamp. :mad: Thanks in advance. Celandine from Japan.



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