Friday, December 19, 2014

Hi Tim! Depression And Suicide. Getting It All Wrong.

Hi Tim,

How are you?  The holiday season has had me so busy that I blipped right over your e-mail on the 15th, regarding the Army chaplain who had been reprimanded for trying to help soldiers with depression.  Sad.  No pun intended.

Turns out that Army Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn was conducting a suicide prevention training session at Fort Benning, Georgia.  He passed out pamphlets with both religious and non-religious resources that were available to the soldiers.  Someone who had attended the training reported the instant to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, who then, in turn, lodged a complaint with Champlain Lawhorn’s superior.  Again, sad.  Again, no pun intended.

You stated that Chaplain Lawhorn had been punished for “simply sharing how his faith in God has sustained him during difficult times.”  I’m not sure if I’d call it punishment.  The colonel at the base simply called the chaplain into his office and warned him to be careful in the event that someone could think that he was promoting one set of beliefs over another.  And I think that’s where the problem rears its head…

You mentioned that the chaplain’s pamphlet included biblical references.  Were they only references to the Christian faith, or did it include references to the Jewish faith?  If they were biblical references, I would imagine that would not speak to the soldiers who may be of the Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, etc., faiths.

Well, it looks as if the chaplain engaged a lawyer, or actually, lawyers.  So I guess it all turned into a big deal.  I’m all about what is right and fair, but maybe we’re overlooking the real concern here:  the soldiers who are having trouble with depression and who are contemplating suicide.  I think that trying to find a solution that would help those soldiers, with the least amount of conflict and hubbub, is ultimately the highest road to take.  But perhaps I’m being too simplistic here.

Myself, I struggle with depression a lot.  I have bipolar disorder, and have been hospitalized for depression and for suicidal thoughts.  No fun.  At all.  But I got help.  And the soldiers should as well.

I checked with my husband, an avowed atheist, as I’ve mentioned before.  He did not one, but two, tours in the Navy.  His take?  He would not have a problem with Chaplain Lawhorn’s pamphlets, as long as they included both religious and non-religious resources for preventing depression and suicide.  That was his take.

I use this phrase a lot.  Much ado about nothing.  Focus on the soldiers.  In Jesus’ name.  No pun intended.

Hope you have a great night Tim!

Yours in Christ,


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hi Tim! Give Us This Day Our Christmas Bread!

Hi Tim!

I got your e-mail today encouraging me to buy Sunbeam Bread.  As you said, 

Every year beginning just after Thanksgiving, Sunbeam Bread reaches out to remind its customers that Christmas is a time to "reflect on our beliefs and remember those around us, especially those less fortunate."  For 75 years, Sunbeam has put their faith into action by labeling their bread packages with an iconic image of Little Miss Sunbeam kneeling with folded hands and praying Jesus' words in Matthew 4:4, "Not by bread alone."

The image is just plain precious.

You encouraged me to send an email and thank Sunbeam for their annual message.  Not to make excuses, the Christmas season always seems to sap my strength.  In addition to all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and having to fight the extra traffic through town around the malls, at the office, our busiest time of the year is the fourth quarter, and I'm bushed.  I had to be at the office this morning an hour and a half earlier than my normal time.  That might not seem like a lot, but trust me, I'm no early bird.  So I'm just writing to you, and then I'm going to bed.  I'll hope that Sunbeam gets lots of e-mails from your folks.

Besides, I've mentioned, on more than one occasion, that my husband does the shopping for the house.  He wouldn't buy Sunbeam bread.  He always buys some multi-grain stuff that's supposed to be "good" for us.  He's a real nutrition nut.  And on top of that, he chunks the bread into the freezer.  He only pulls the loaf out every two weeks or so to make us grilled cheese sandwiches with our tomato soup.  So see, we don't use a lot of bread.  And I couldn't buy Sunbeam Bread this year anyway, unless I went to the grocery store myself.  And that ain't gonna happen!  LOL

At any rate, I'm off to bed.  Hope Sunbeam sells a lot of bread this Christmas season.

Here's wishing you the best, Tim.

Yours in Christ,


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hi Tim! 1 Kid And Counting!

Hi Tim!

Hope you're well.  Sorry.  I'm a little behind.  I hope you didn't think that I'd fallen off the map.  I'm all good.

I was happy to see that I didn't miss much.  The topics of your e-mail were familiar, and ones that we'd already covered:

  • PetSmart saying "Bah, Humbug" by not using the word "Christmas" in its holiday advertising.  See link here.
  • Your organization, single-handedly (the way I read it), convincing a national chain, The Regis Corporation, to allow its employees to use the phrase "Merry Christmas" to their customers.  See link here.
  • Your organization's "Naughty or Nice" list, informing us on which national chains are "Naughty" by using the word "Holiday" instead of "Christmas" in their holiday advertising and which were "Nice" by using the word "Christmas" in their holiday advertising.  See link here.
  • And finally, the "homosexual lobby" attacking the Duggar family of TLC's "19 Kids And Counting" TV program.  See links here and here.
So let's just re-cover one of the topics above.  The Duggar family.  The Duggars have a problem with homosexuals.  So I'd surmise that they would have a problem with me, if we met.  I'm not what some people would call a "flaming homosexual."  A "flaming homosexual" might be a man who is overly feminine, speak in a girlish voice, and swish when he walks.  I have some friends who are just like this.  They are FUN!  But me?  I'm just a guy.  But I am out about my sexual orientation.  I talk about my husband.  I talk about gay rights, because we gay men and lesbians simply do not have all the rights of the heterosexuals of this country and of this earth.  This is only a plain fact.

But, not to push the "homosexual agenda," which you sometimes mention, I just want to bring light to one point.  I have a son.  A son that I had in the "natural" fashion.  I was married to a woman, and we had a child together.  I was gay.  I always have been.  But I got married, in the hopes that it would change me.  It didn't.  I'm glad that marriage didn't change me.  I like me for who I am.  Everyone should like themselves for who they are.  Regardless of whether or not somebody has a problem with them.

So the Duggars have "19 Kids And Counting."  Quite a few.  I would think that many folks would think "That's too many!"  Honestly, I would have had a whole houseful too, if I'd not been gay.  So, with me it was "1 Kid And No More Counting."

BUT, a couple of weeks ago, my son let me know that my husband and I are going to be grandfathers!  I am so excited.  And my son is beside himself with happiness.  He wants a houseful of  children too.  But I do have to say that his "1 Kid and Counting" doesn't turn into "19 Kids And Counting!"

Take it easy, Tim!

Yours in Christ,


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hi Tim! A Hairdo And A Merry Christmas!

Hi Tim,

I'm running out to the gym, but I'm glad that I got your e-mail before I headed out.  I'll probably be tuckered out when I get back home.

Wow!  That was a quick resolution to the alert that you posted earlier today.  Let me sum up for those who might not be on your e-mail list.

Apparently, an American Family Assocation staff member went to SmartStyle in a Walmart to get her hair done.  I didn't even know there were salons in Wal-mart, but I digress.  Anyway, your staff member was told by the stylist that the district manager told the employees to not use phrases like "Merry Christmas" or "God Bless You."  And when your organization called for follow-up, the corporate office said that employees were instructed to tell customers "Happy Holidays," so as not to offend non-Christian customers.

In your call to Take Action, you said, and I quote:
"SmartStyle employees are not cattle or robots. They are real people, with real feelings, who want to give a genuine, heartfelt greeting to their customers."
The images that immediately popped in my mind was a stylist mooing good-bye to a customer, or a stylist making R2D2 good-bye beeps.  LOL.  And "a genuine, heartfelt greeting" is a bit vague.  All I could think was a hearty "WHASSUP?!" when a customer enters the store, or a big "Come back again real soon now, ya' here?"  But I'm just being silly here.

As it turns out, just hours later, you let me know that a spokesperson for the owners of SmartStyle, the Regis Corporation, responded with this:
"Please know that there is not a corporate-wide policy at Regis Corporation regarding greetings during the many holiday seasons throughout the year, including Christmas. We encourage our stylists and staff to greet every guest with respect and courtesy, regardless of the season or time of year.  We are also sharing this throughout the company so everyone has the correct information."
It doesn't seem to me like much of a resolution, since I guess stylists can still say "Happy Hanukkah," "Happy Kwanzaa," or even, "Happy Festivus" to the die-hard Seinfeld fans.

But you did say that no further action was needed in your e-mail.  I'm glad!  It was a long day at the office, and I'm just now headed off to the gym.  It's almost 9 o'clock! more thing.  Looks like the Regis Corporation also owns SuperCuts.  I went to one of those about 20 years ago, and got the worst haircut of my life.  A "Merry Christmas" wouldn't have made it better.  But a "God Bless You" might have.

Have a great night, Tim!

Yours in Christ,


Monday, December 1, 2014

Hi Tim! "Ol' Unnatural Me" or "Duggar Family Revisted"

Hi Tim!

Got your e-mail today.  Man, I'm glad I caught it.  I just got in from the gym, and it's half past 10 PM.  It was a late evening, so I got to the gym late, because I had dinner with friends.  Another gay married couple and our best friends, a lesbian couple (they're not unnaturally married...LOL..I'll explain what I mean below).

Today's e-mail was about the Duggar Family again.  We communicated about that topic on this post here.  Today you let me know that your petition had been signed by hundreds of thousands of good people, but you were missing my signature.  Sorry, but I couldn't bring myself to sign it.  

You see, after you posted your original story on the Duggar family, I did a little investigation online.  It seems that another organization was pushing a petition to send to TLC to persuade them to cancel the show.

Here's the truth, Tim.  I'm not signing either of them.  I don't watch television.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I have all available seasons of The Big Bang Theory on DVD, and I watch them over and over.  I'm kinda boring that way.

In today's e-mail, you stated that the "good people" who signed your petition refuse to be bullied by a noisy group of angry homosexual activists.  I got bullied once in high school.  Fortunately, it only happened once.  Some girl called me a "faggot" to my face.  Trust me, once was enough.

You mentioned that the Duggar family is "standing firm on God’s word that marriage is sacred and can only be defined as God intended – one man and one woman."  Even being a Christian, I follow the idea of separation of church and state.  My husband and I got married in a courthouse.  The courthouse did have a small "chapel," but the ceremony was...well, I guess it was stately.  LOL

It's not unnatural though.  It's quite nice.

As for the Duggars, I don't have much stake in their show.  Like I said, I don't watch TV.  My husband and I couldn't watch their show if we tried.  We don't have cable.  Yes.  We're cavemen.  LOL

This all seems "much ado about nothing" to me though.  The Duggars and your organization, and the homosexuals of this country will probably never understand one another.  Sometimes, I don't understand your e-mails.  But then I ask God to help me, and I just focus on things that you and I might have in common:

  • I'm married.  I guess you are too.
  • I have a child.  I would imagine that you have at least one.
  • We are both middle-aged white men (but it looks like I have more hair than you...ha, ha..just kidding, buddy)
The upshot is the Duggars television program will not last forever.  Americans have such short attention spans.  And so we're back to "Much Ado About Nothing."  

Let's just laugh.

Have a great night, Tim!

Yours in Christ,


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hi Tim! Lincoln Thanksgiving?

Hi Tim!

I received your e-mail wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.  I must admit that I felt a bit guilty, since you thanked me for my continued support and for taking action this year.  I haven't really done that.  While I don't support your site, I do agree with your belief in God and Jesus.  And the only action that I've taken is responding to your e-mails, and maybe offering a perspective that is different from yours.

I did find it odd that you selected Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving address to the nation.  I listened to the address that was dramatized on your site, and it was a very moving speech (although it was a bit disciplinary).  You may know this already, but Lincoln was a religious skeptic as a young man.  It was questioned that his frequent references to religious imagery could have been due to his personal beliefs, or the references could have a device to appeal to the American people.  Who knows?

Lincoln also never joined a church.  He would attend church with his wife, but he never made a clear profession of Christian beliefs.  It was know that he did believe in an all-powerful God, since he mentioned that in many major speeches.  But believing in God, and believing in God and Jesus are two different systems.  The Jewish people believe in God, but they do not believe in Jesus, like us Christians.  However, I doubt that Lincoln was Jewish.

Anyway, I just put the dressing in the oven.  I'm always responsible for bringing that to the Thanksgiving feast.  Our feast will be for two lesbians, three gay guys, and one straight woman.  They are my family away from home.  They adopted me as family years ago.  And it's nice, since my own family is hundreds of miles away.

I'll be going to the gym soon.  And it's almost 10 PM.  Wow!  But being a vain gay man, I have to make sure my body looks presentable...Ha, Ha.  Besides, our Thanksgiving meal will not start until Noon, so I can sleep in.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Tim!  Hope you enjoy your time with your family.

Yours in Christ,


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hi Tim! Thanks for the Warning!

Hi Tim,

I got your e-mail today "Warning: Before you go shopping on Black Friday."  Never fear.  I never shop on Black Friday.  Since the stock market is open that day, I have to work.  But that is not the real reason that I don't shop on Black Friday.  People in stores on that day can do some crazy and violent things.  I've heard of people getting in fights over merchandise, and even some accounts of gunfire.  Wow!  That's certainly not in the spirit of the holidays!  I've already checked out your list of Naughty or Nice chain stores and wrote about it here. So I'm informed on that topic already.

You did say
There are secular forces in our country that hate Christmas because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ. They want to eradicate anything that reminds Americans of Christianity. That is why it is important to remind governments and companies to keep the word Christmas alive. AFA wants to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America.
I'm not sure how many people "hate" Christmas, because it reminds them of Jesus Christ.  There's lots to remind people everyday of Jesus Christ:  Christian churches everywhere, crosses on necklaces, cemeteries with religious headstones, movies about angels; I could go on and one.  I'm not sure if these people who "hate" Christmas are in a "secular force."  If they are, it's a bit sad.  Getting in big arguments over semantics during the Christmas season seems to be in direct opposition to the entire idea of the celebration of the birth of Jesus, whether it's Christians or non-Christians making a big deal of it.  I don't argue over the real reason for the holiday myself.  Many non-Christians have chosen to celebrate Christmas Day by gathering with their families.  I believe that you and I would agree that any occasion where people are getting together with their families is a beautiful thing.

I did notice that you mentioned PetSmart again.  Again, I think you're giving them free advertising, buddy.  While your followers will not shop at the store, if this story gets picked up by the media, non-Christians may flock to the store to show their support for the store.  Just a guess.

On a different note:  on your e-mail, I did see your buttons that you are selling in your store.  They are very cute.  I hope you sell a lot of them.

Well, it's time for bed.  I ran three miles on the treadmill at the gym tonight, and I'm pooped.

Hope you have a good day tomorrow, Tim!

Yours in Christ,


Monday, November 24, 2014

Hi Tim! Bah Humbug?

Hi Tim,

How's it going?

I got your e-mail today advising me "Don't be fooled. PetSmart is playing games."  According to your e-mail, PetSmart had sent an e-mail shortly after you announced your boycott of the chain.  They used the word "Christmas" in the e-mail, but all the links that were included in the e-mail...ah, I'll just quote you here, because it's much easier than typing it all out.  Hope you don't mind.

Consider this:
- The email was launched within hours of the boycott and only to those who subscribe to their emails.- The email had the word "Christmas" in it, but the links all went to webpages that are exclusively "holiday." Christmas appears nowhere else but in that email!- PetSmart still does not acknowledge "Christmas" in any other corporate advertising.- If PetSmart is really sincere, they will reach out to AFA for an honest discussion about how to end the boycott. We've reached out to them numerous times.

You and I have communicated about PetSmart a couple of times now, and it seems like you are giving them a lot of attention.  You know what my mother used to say about people who bothered me?  "Just ignore them."  You seem to be pointing them out a lot, and kinda giving them free advertising.  So much so, that my atheist husband is thinking about shopping there, and as I mentioned before, he rarely shops there.  He cracks me up.  He's kinda militant.  I know that you and he would butt heads, but he's super-nice.  Everybody likes him.  He's probably the nicest person that I've ever met.  So I don't mind his religious beliefs.  And he's ok with my being a Christian.  It's awesome to be able to respect your spouse's beliefs, no matter if they are the polar opposite of your own.

One thing that puzzled me, though, was the use of your phrase "Bah Humbug."  We all know that "Bah Humbug" comes from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."  This story is almost completely secular, so I was a bit surprise that you opted that phrase.  And Dickens, while being an Anglican for his whole life, did have a problem with evangelicalism, from which the Pilgrim faith was formed, and in turn, the foundation of religious freedom in our country.  But that kinda thing takes a lot of research.  You may have wanted to get the word out about PetSmart as soon as possible, and didn't have the time.

At any rate, I hope all works our well with you and PetSmart.  I don't think that they have you singled out.  So take my mom's advice.  Just ignore them.

Take it easy, Tim.

Yours in Christ,


Friday, November 21, 2014

Hi Tim! Busy trying to keep up! A lot's going on!

Hi Tim,

I didn't have the chance to write the past couple of nights.  I feel kind of bad about it.  If I track back, I think I missed two yesterday, but I caught the one tonight.  Let me try to catch up.  I'm going to get my information from your e-mails only, because I don't have a load of time to research.  See, I'm going to see my family tomorrow in Louisiana.  I know I'll have a great time!  But I digress.

Here we go:

  • You told me that The Dugger family has been viciously attacked!  Wow, when I first read that, I immediately thought that maybe a bear had broke into their house and mauled them.  Only when I read your e-mail did I realize that the Duggers are the family that is the subject of the TV program "19 Kids And Counting."  The sheer number of them would feed a herd of bears!  Wow, sorry...that was a terrible joke.  But then I realized (according to your words) that "rabid homosexual activists" had attacked them. I felt better for the family.  But rabies is no laughing matter.
  • You urged me to "Take Action: An injustice by an Air Force commander."  Apparently, an Air Force colonel was interviewed for his base's newsletter, and he spoke of his faith.  Then the commander of the Air Force blocked the interview from being published in the newsletter.  Me?  I like when people talk about their faith.  It can be religious:  Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish.  It can be about nature, the stars, the oceans and rivers, or simply the goodness of others.  I like the idea of faith.  Everybody needs something to believe in.  But I'm going to have to go with the commander on this one.  If this Air Force colonel is commanding people of other faiths, including atheism, then they may feel a little uncomfortable reporting to a man who is so open in his Christian faith.  Of course, I would not have a problem with it.  But let's put the shoe on the other foot.  How comfortable would you and I be, if we were reporting to a man who always talked about how Astrology has changed his life, and how he can figure people out by their birthdays?  I bet we'd not be comfortable.  Well, ok...I would.  By the way, I'm a Libra.
  • You informed me of how a student was seeking permission for Christian messages that were refused last year.  Here, an elementary school student was denied from bringing candy canes to school to give to other children.  Wow, sad.  He just wanted to do something nice for his schoolmates.  But then I read further, on the link you provided.  There were Christian messages on the candy canes speaking to how they were formed in the letter "J" and how the red on the canes represented Christ's blood.  That's kinda scary for grade-schoolers!  If I heard that as a child, I'd NEVER eat another candy cane in my life.  Furthermore, I'd be mortified, if my son or daughter came home from school with that treat.  But seriously, the message was a bit out of place.  Imagine the Jewish/Buddhist/Muslim/Atheist parent having to explain the message to their small child.  Tough conversation.
  • Your linked me to an article about how Students were denied right, again, to form Christian club at NY high school.  I don't have much to say about this.  Based on the facts that I have on hand, they should be able to have their "Dare To Believe" club.  Like I said earlier, I'm only going on your e-mails and links, so I might be missing something deeper in the story.  I must be.  Because I think that a Christian club at a high school would be a great thing.  Oh, wait.  Might be a "separation of church and state" thing, if it's a public school.  I still wouldn't have a problem with it.  But I would imagine some parents might become concerned, if by allowing "Dare To Believe," that would give rise to such clubs as "Muslim Students Unite!" or "Atheists Together!" or something like that.  Might make people cringe.
  • There was another link in your e-mail to an article about how an Army officer enforced regs on lesbians, and how he got fired.  Well, that's what the title implied.  He actually didn't get canned.  In the first paragraph after the title, it said that his job was in jeopardy.  Well, anyway...apparently he caught a couple of soldiers, female soldiers, making out, and other soldiers were taking pictures of them.  He took "immediate action to stop the inappropriate behavior."  The officer faced a hearing and was found guilty of assault.  Assault.  Yes, assault.  How exactly did he take "immediate action to stop the inappropriate behavior"?  I'm definitely not going to research that one further.   I know when my mind goes without any additional information.  And I don't like that direction.
That was kinda long, Tim.  Like I said, I'm just trying to catch up, since you are as faithful with your correspondence as you are with your beliefs.  I was bowling for our gay bowling league Wednesday night, and last night I was writing some fiction.  Probably nothing you would enjoy, since the story focuses on a gay guy.

Hey, hope you have a good weekend, buddy.  I'm going to get to see my son.  That will be fun.  Plus, I'll be visiting a new church in my hometown.  I'm excited about that.

Take it easy, Tim.

Yours in Christ,


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hi Tim! Stranger Ways, Indeed.

Hi Tim!

Got your e-mail today.  But you and I have already communicated on this subject.  Your organization is calling for a limited one-month boycott of PetSmart because they are not using the word "Christmas" in their advertising for the holiday season.  As I have mentioned before, I definitely use the word "Christmas" with my Christian friends and family.  Even with some of my non-Christian friends, who I know would not be offended.  Other religions have holidays that fall during the month of December, such as Kwanzaa, which celebrates African heritage.  This celebration is observed from December 26th to January 1st.  Also, there is Hanukkah, the Jewish eight day "Festival of Lights," which is observed in early to mid December.  This holiday celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the revolt of Jewish rebels.  So, Christmas isn't really the only holiday that falls between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

But like I said, I touched upon the "Naughty" list of businesses that you offered earlier.  I mentioned in that post that my husband and I do shop at PetSmart, but quite infrequently. Usually the husband does all the shopping for the house, so I doubt that I will be in the store for the Holiday season at all.  And he's an atheist, so he will not be offended by any reference to Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Holiday.  He's very easy-going.

To change the subject a bit:  I discovered a couple of Christian rock bands over the past two weeks.  I don't know if you're into music like me (we don't know each other that well yet), but I love music.  And finding good music is always a treat for me.  The two groups are Anberlin and House of Heroes.  Some of their songs have specific lyrics that speak to Christianity, like Anberlin's "Stranger Ways" or House of Heroes' "A Man Who's Not Afraid."  But both of these band do not label themselves as Christian Rock bands.  They simply say that they are musicians who are Christians; much like I say that I am a gay man who is a Christian.  It's best not to put yourself in a box, in a category; that's almost like being in jail.  And as a Christian and an American, I feel free and grateful for that.

Anyway, here is a video of Anberlin's "Stranger Ways."  Hope you check it out.  It's good stuff.

Hope you have a good day tomorrow.

Yours in Christ,


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hi Tim! Healing For Everyone

Hi Tim,
How are you?  I got your e-mail today, and it really hit home.  Looks like this Thursday, you will be simulcasting a presentation by a psalmist named Dennis Jernigan, who apparently has had a lifelong struggle with homosexuality.  Then he was healed through his relationship with Christ.
I had my own struggle with homosexuality, when I was a teen and a young adult.  I prayed and prayed for God to change me.  I felt lost and alone.  And then I realized that God made me just the way I am.  And I learned to love myself:  a gay Christian.  It was wonderful.
I realize that everyone cannot follow the path that I do.  I realize that some people believe that homosexuality is a sin.  I do not.  It’s just a part of me.  And that part doesn’t have to change for me to be a Christian.  That was the hardest lesson to learn.  I spent years away from the church, because I was treated like a leper, when my church family learned the truth about me, and subsequently, turned their back on me.
A couple of weeks ago, I came to a realization.  I can worship God.  I can be a part of a church family again.  There are many churches in my area that have predominately gay and lesbian congregations.  Many of these church speak to healing, which I guess is healing the relationships that gays and lesbians have with God.  I am going to check out a few in the coming weeks to see where I feel most comfortable worshiping.  Then I will choose my new church family.
I’m glad that Dennis Jernigan has found his way.  As I am glad that I found mine.
I hope that the simulcast will be a big success for both you and Dennis.  It’s important for everyone to express their beliefs.  I will be working during the time of the simulcast.  I would not listen anyway.  I do not believe that it would speak to me as a person, or as a Christian.
It’s always good to hear from you, Tim.
Yours in Christ,


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hi Tim! Naughty or Nice

Hi Tim,

I got your e-mail today.  Good to hear from you.

The topic today was your "Naughty or Nice" list.  I just checked out the "Naughty" companies to see if I shop at any of these business.  Your list included the following "Naughty" establishments, and I'll make notes each of these companies:

Barnes & Noble - I sometimes shop here.  Since I'm a writer, from time to time, I visit their coffee bar to have a coffee and write.  I usually go to Starbucks instead, so I'll probably not go to Barnes & Noble this holiday season.
Family Dollar - I never shop here.  I understand they have great values, but their stores are kind of messy.  I'm a neat-freak when it comes to shopping in stores.
Foot Locker - I usually buy all my shoes at Academy or DSW.  No danger of my shopping there.
Limited Brands - Is this the clothing line?  I haven't researched the list, but if so, I think this business caters to a younger crowd.  I'm in my 50s and do most of my shopping at Banana Republic.  Pretty boring, yes, I know.  But I don't have to think a lot to shop there.  I'm kind of a lazy clothes shopper.
Maurice's - Not sure what this business is.  Like I said, I didn't research the list.  Since I don't know what this business is, I'm certain that I won't shop there.
Office Depot - My husband sometimes shops here, but he is an atheist.  I don't normally go with him shopping.  He doesn't like when I go.  I slow him down.  I get distracted easily.
Pet Smart - We do shop here, but infrequently.  I'm not sure whether or not I'll shop here during the holiday season.
Staples - I used to see these all the time when I lived in West Hollywood, CA.  But I haven't seen any here in Houston.  I do think there is a store or two in the area.  If we need office supplies, my husband goes to Office Depot, as I mentioned.
Supervalu - Again, I don't know what this business is about.
Victoria's Secret - There's absolutely no danger in my shopping here.  Trust me.  I don't even like going into one of their store.

You'll notice that I exclusively used the phrase "Holiday Season."  And since Christmas shopping nowadays starts way before Thanksgiving.  I'm just using that phrase to encompass both Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  I'm not trying to be snarky.  I definitely use the phrase "Merry Christmas" with my Christian friends.  But, out of respect, I say "Happy Holidays" to my friends who are part of another faith.  I just think that's respectful.

I did want to tell you about a hilarious thing that happened today.  I was stopped at a traffic light, and there was a homeless man peddling.  Well, I'm making the assumption that he was homeless.  Anyway, being a good Christian, I dug in my truck's ashtray, where I keep small change.  I rolled down my window, and offered him the money, saying "It's only change."  The man dropped his hand and walked away.  I just shook my head and laughed a little.

Hope you had a great day today, Tim.  And a great day tomorrow.

Yours in Christ,


Friday, November 7, 2014

Hi Tim, Merry Early Christmas!

Hi Tim,

I can't believe that we are in the first full week in November, and we are already talking about Christmas.  I remember those old days, when Christmas didn't officially begin until the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm sure you do too.  But I guess it's all marketing.  And since we here in the United States are really now just a consumer nation, I suppose the early start of the Christmas season is somewhat unavoidable.  But nowadays, Thanksgiving (which is a big family holiday) seems to get the short end of the stick.

I usually hold off on the Christmas greetings until after Thanksgiving myself, but I received your e-mail today.  So I guess we can discuss that.

You mentioned in your post that last year "roughly 80 percent of the nation's retailers ignored the use of "Christmas" in their stores and in advertising, choosing instead to use the politically correct terms 'Happy Holidays' or 'Holiday Sales.'"  Since it's all about marketing (as I believe that it is), I would imagine that retailers just want to make a buck, regardless of anyone's belief system.

I'm definitely one who believe in "Merry Christmas," but many of my friends who are not Christian like me, still celebrate in December, with family gatherings and by exchanging presents.  I doubt that they'd be offended if retailers are using the term "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays."  I wouldn't, but I'm pretty easy-going.

I see that last year, you called for a boycott of Radio Shack, because they wouldn't use the term "Christmas" in their advertisements.  And today you announced that the boycott was a success.  Radio Shack is now using the term "Christmas" again.  Cool!  It's like back to the good old days, when I was a kid.  Back then, most everybody said "Merry Christmas."  I only heard "Happy Holidays" on occasion.  I didn't take that as a hit on Christ, I thought that people were just trying to change it up a bit.  But I didn't think they were dishonoring Jesus.  I didn't think that Jesus would mind.

I'm not trying to be snide here, but I'll still probably not shop at Radio Shack.  If I'm buying electronics, I do it on Amazon.  But I do sincerely hope that their sales increase this year.  According to my husband, the chain is a little in trouble.  Probably because of people like me who do a lot of online shopping.

Anyway, it was great to hear from you today.  I admire your passion in your cause.  I just wish that your beliefs regarding same-sex marriage weren't so strong.  It kinda makes me sad.  But I'm sure that you're really a good guy.

Have a good night, Tim.

Yours in Christ,


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hi Tim, I didn't hear from you today. Hope all is o.k.

Hi Tim,

I didn't get an e-mail from you today, friend.  I was a bit surprised.  I can usually bet on hearing from you at least once a day.  But I trust that all is good in your world, and you're just a bit busy.  I would imagine that you have a lot of responsibility running the American Family Association.

It's all good though.  I did get to spend some time with another friend of mine. He's a gay Christian like me.  We met for lunch, and it was a lot of fun.  The conversation probably would have made you a bit uncomfortable, since we were talking about our husbands.  We also talked about how his husband dressed up like a fairy for Halloween.  I sure that would have really made you uncomfortable, so I'm glad you weren't there.

I was at the office from 9 AM to 8 PM.  It was a LONG day.  But I enjoyed it.  I got to talk to one of my best friends at work.  She is a Christian too.  And we talked about how we need to turn things over to God that we can't handle alone. She is super-conversative in her beliefs.  She doesn't believe that same-sex marriage should be legal, but she loves me and is happy that I have a good husband.  You and she would probably hit it off great!

Anyway, like I said, I was at the office until 8, and it's now 9:30 PM.  I'm kinda tired.  Time to say my prayers and go to sleep.

Hope you have a great day tomorrow!

Yours in Christ,


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hi Tim, Thank for you thanking me for voting!

Hi Tim,

I got your e-mail thanking me for being an American voter.  I did vote in America.  I can't vote anywhere else.  Sorry...LOL...I couldn't resist being a smart alec.  But I am an American citizen.  A fact that I'm very proud of, as I know that you are as well.  We do live in a wonderful county, where we have the right to vote and to make our voices be heard.

You did mention something in your e-mail that troubled me, though. You stated that

"Your AFA is already hard at work to with policies that ensure our nation reverses many of the bad laws that have been passed in the past seven years. Specifically, we will strike hard against ObamaCare, runaway spending, natural marriage and religious freedom protections."

(I copied that directly from your e-mail.  The first sentence seems to have some grammar problems, but hey...we all goof up sometimes).

I've mentioned before that I really don't keep up with current event, so I don't have all the facts about ObamaCare.  I don't think that is the real name of the program, but I guess that not important here.  I've heard a lot of people complaining about it.  I am fortunate to work for a company who has excellent health insurance, and they even extend that coverage to my husband (well, for him, I have to pay for it.  It's not for free...LOL).

Runaway spending?  Yeah, I guess that's a problem.  When my husband and I "run-away" spend, we end up eating beans, rice, and greens, like we did tonight.  Our money too often goes to fun things like travel, eating out, buying gifts for our families, or bowling.  We LOVE to bowl.  But we should really try to budget better.  A lot of people should, but I always try to mind my own business.

Natural marriage?  I know what you are driving at there, and it makes me smile.  I am married, and I have been so for years now.  Legally.  Maybe not in the everyday conservative's eyes, but I know that Jesus has blessed me.  I found the man of my dreams, and I'm fortunate in many ways.

Religious freedom?  I'm right there with you, buddy.  For me, the best way that I can exercise my religious freedom is by being an example for people that I encounter:  always being kind, helping others when I can, giving as much of myself as I can, not judging people because they are different from me.  Jesus gave me that example.

I'm glad that you are stoked about the election results.  I'm beginning to think of you as a friend.  You know...someone you can admire (like I admire your passion in your convictions), someone that can drive you crazy (when I think, "Wow...did you really just say that, Tim?), and someone that you have a lot in common with (like our belief in the teachings of Jesus).

Have a great day, Tim

Yours in Christ,


Monday, November 3, 2014

Hi Tim. I'm Looking Forward To Election Day Tomorrow

Hi Tim,

Just a quick note.  My husband and I had dinner with our best friends, a lesbian couple, this evening, so I’m up pretty late.  It was a great dinner, Mexican food.  I had a beef fajita quesadilla.  It was awesome.

Anyway, I received your e-mail regarding Election Day tomorrow, and the availability of your organization’s free online voting guide.  But I will be using a different one tomorrow:  the Houston GLBT Political Caucus one.  GLBT stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.  I fall in that category.

I’ve checked out their recommendations, which look like a straight Democratic ticket.  I have to admit that I have not checked out yours.  I would guess that it’s straight Republican, but as I said, I have not checked it out, so that's a big assumption.

Anyway, I hope the supporters and members of your organization come out to vote.  Every voice is our country in important.  And as they say, may the best man (person) win!

Yours in Christ,


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hi Tim, I hope your "I Stand Sunday" events opens some eyes.

Hi Tim,

You don't know me, but I'm your friendly neighborhood queer.  We don’t live in the same neighborhood, but aren't we really all neighbors on this same planet?  

I got your e-mail regarding your American Family Association's "I Stand Sunday" event.  And even though it will be held in my hometown, I will not be able to attend.  But I did want to RSVP.

I don't know where Houston's Grace Community Church is located, but I could probably Google-search it and find out.  But I have plans already.  I bowl in a gay league on Sunday evenings, and the times conflict.

But the real reason that I will not attend the event is that I do not think that I would feel welcomed.  Well, not for who I really am.  You see, yes, I'm a Christian, and there are many Christian churches in Houston, where the majority of the congregations are gay or lesbian.  I do feel welcomed there. Even heterosexual people are welcomed in these churches.

From your invitation, I understand that the objective for your gathering is "to focus on the freedom to live out our faith, free of government intrusion or monitoring."  I can respect that.  Many people believe that our country was founded solely on the basis of religious freedom.  So it was shocking for me to learn that one of our founding fathers, John Adams, once wrote to another one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, that, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there was no religion in it."  Strong words, that I definitely do not agree with.  I'm certain that you don’t either.

I understand from your invitation that the city of Houston "issued subpoenas demanding that some of the city’s pastors turn over sermon notes and private communications dealing with homosexuality and transgenderism."  I don't know much of the background on that, but I think the city backed down on the issue.

Thank you for your listing of some of the confirmed speakers at your event:
David and Jason Benham, "co-founders of Benham Companies, who had their program on HGTV canceled because of their stand for time-honored marriage." 
Myself, I've been married since 2012, so I'm not sure if it's “time-honored."  I don’t watch HGTV, but my husband does.  He may know who David and Jason are, but I don’t watch much TV.  Well, unless it’s “The Big Bang Theory.”
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, "President of Southern Baptist Convention."  
I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, attending every Sunday school, Sunday morning worship service, Sunday night training union, Sunday night worship service, and Wednesday evening fellowship.  I even was a member of our church’s puppet troupe that entertained children and the elderly.  I was a devout member of the church, until the truth of my homosexuality was found out.  Then the entire church turned its back on me.  That hurt.  It didn't seem to me like something Jesus would have done.
Mike Huckabee, "television host, political commentator and former Governor of Arkansas."
I guess he has a strong anti-gay stance.  I think my husband told me that, but I don't pay attention to most news items (although I do read your e-mails).  All I know is that my Dad likes him, so Mike is probably very conservative
Alan Robertson and Phil Robertson "of the hit television show 'Duck Dynasty'."  
I do not watch this show, but my sister's family and my step-sister's family do.  They really enjoy it.  Some time back, one of these guys compared homosexuality to bestiality.  Now that is a true crime against nature. But I'm not sure what the Robertsons think about what happens in my bedroom, but it's not sex with animals.  And ultimately, that’s none of their business.  I don’t know, or care, what goes on behind their bedroom doors.  That is none of my business.

Like I said before, I do hope your event opens some eyes, but not in the way that you hope it will.  I hope people will recognize that they and I are more alike than we are different.  Take you and I for example:  we love our families, we go to work, we have children, and we are both Christians.

The best to you, Tim.  I know that's what Jesus wants for you.  And I know that's what He wants for me too.



Sunday, February 23, 2014


My husband and I have been together for almost eight years now, married for more than two years.  I never dreamt that a relationship could be so easy and idyllic.  Even after eight years of spending almost every day together (I think that we’ve been apart for a total of 10 nights in the eight-year span), we still do not take each other for granted.  We say “Thank you” almost daily for small things that we do for one another.  We text little red hearts and smiley-faces to each other throughout the work days, when we’re apart.  We go to bed each night with an “I love you.”  It’s steady.  It’s nice.  It’s sweet.  It’s damn-near perfect.
There is an old saying: “Familiarity breeds contempt.”  I don’t buy it.  I think that a person would have to be a sociopath to follow that logic.  However, I will admit, while my man and I do not take one another for granted, we sure are “used-to” being around one another.  We have a wide circle of friends, and spend a lot of time with different groups, but the majority of our time is spent at home.  And while we may not be in the same room, for example, he may be in his office, catching up on internet news (he’s a bit of a junkie), he might be writing reproachful letters to our elected representatives (I swear he is going to get us on a list, and the FBI or CIA are going to drone us) or he, most probably, will be playing video games like “The Sims” or “Skyrim” (yes, he is a big kid), whereas, I may be in the living room, writing, playing piano, reading, listening to music, or watching old “30 Rock” reruns on Netflix.  While not in the same room, we can hear each other faintly, or at least, have the knowledge that the other is close by.

So there is more of a chance of our not jumping up and down when we see one another (the way our dogs do every time we enter the house).  BUT…the other day, I was surfing the web, and stumbled across this video “End of the World” by Matt Alber:

Now, apparently this video was played often on the LOGO (read, “gay”) cable channel a few years ago between programs and became rather popular.  But I never watch “regular” TV (shoot, we even canceled our cable last year), so this video was completely new to me.  After I watched it all the way through, I called my husband into my office, and showed him.  He got a little choked up (he’s like that - it’s inherited from his sweet father).  I restarted the video, and danced him around the room a bit.  He loves that.

Over the next few days, I was walking around with stars in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach, so I found Matt Alber’s e-mail on his website and shot him a quick e-mail:

Hey Matt,
Sometimes I am a bit late, but the other day I first saw the video for your song "End of the World."  It was so romantic, I showed it to my husband. 
We've been together for 7 years, and since we watched that video, it's as if we just started dating. 
So I just want to say "Thank you.”
The best to you.
And Matt Alber surprised me by responding in just a few moments:
Wow, thank you for your sweet note. Made me smile! 
So thank you again, Matt.  Keep spreading the romance, guy.