Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Birthday Lounging With Hank and Debbie

Tonight I lounged around at one of my favorite local coffee shop hang outs with my good friends Hank and Debbie. As I celebrate my birthday week by connecting with friends, I honor their friendship to me and I appreciate the gift that they are to me from God.

These two are particularly special to me because they were one of my first gay Christian friends that I made when I first began my journey . . . .

In the Summer of last year, I started this process of exploring the "other" side and I allowed myself to meet people who had apparently reconciled their faith and sexuality. I started this blog in July 2005 and soon I visited my first inclusive church called "The Tab". The next day, I visited one of their small groups in someone's home. As I began to meet more and more people from this church, I began to see genuine people loving and worshipping God. And oh, they happened to be gay or lesbian. That screwed up my paradigm! A significant moment happened early on in this journey when I went to a bonfire with the small group and I witnessed them pray for the welfare of the city. I began to realize that they loved God, loved each other, and they loved the city - just like so many of my straight Christian friends. Eventually, I came to the milestone moment of realizing that I could not deny that these indeed are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Since I accepted the fact that they are part of the Church, even as gay or lesbian, then that opened up a whole other can of worms - because if they are Christians, then what does that mean about my (and the mainstream Church's) assumptions about them not being a part of the Church? And so, God propelled me further on my journey.

Hank and Debbie were a part of that early process. They are some of the ones I am thinking of when I say in my story that I saw gay Christians genuinely worshipping the Lord and I know that they are my brothers and sisters.

So in the past year, God has developed the friendship between the three of us in incredible ways. We have a type of refreshing quality in our conversations and we've all grown so much both personally and as friends. We began to talk a lot about organic principles and the Church paradigm type stuff that I talk about on this blog. As I founded and established Catalyst, Hank and Debbie were the ones that I brainstormed with. They were the ones that helped me out logistically with the events. They were the ones that believed in me and the vision that I saw and together we've adopted this catalytic lifestyle of trying to connect with and affect the world around us. We have a vision for catalyzing our city and changing our culture over the next 30 years.

And it's so awesome to not be alone in this.

I value Hank and Debbie because they are on this journey with me. We call ourselves a tribe - a tribe of faith (something that I'll be unpacking in future posts). A tribe is different from simply having other Christian friends. A tribe is a group of disciples whose relationships with each other is characterized by three things: Divine Truth, Nurturing Relationships, and Apostolic Mission. The DNA. Yes, i'll be unpacking this more in future posts but for now i'll say that I appreciate this tribe. And for my birthday, I honor them and I thank God for the gift they are to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To my pleasant surprise Hank and Debbie showed up at Movie Night. Those two know how to get around!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s anybody???