I Was Born This Way

I didn’t choose to be like this, I was born this way.  This is just who I am.  So how can it be wrong?

This morning I preached a message on homosexuality and our hope in Christ to change.  But many homosexuals say they were born that way, so how can it be wrong, or how can they hope to change?

In 1 CO 6.9-11 Paul says that homosexuals, the sexually immoral, adulterers, drunkards, the greedy, revilers and swindlers won’t go to heaven.  Then he makes a stunning statement:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Did you catch that?  “And such were some of you.”  Past tense.  They “were” at one time, but weren’t any longer.  Some had been drunkards but were no longer.  Some had been adulterers, but were no longer. Some “were” homosexuals, but now they were no longer.  They had changed when Jesus washed, sanctified and justified them.

In a sense, homosexuals are born that way, because we are all born with a fallen nature which leads us into various kinds of sin. Some tend to lust after the opposite sex; others toward the same sex.  Some tend toward anger or drunkenness or greed.  In every case, it feels “natural” because it springs from our sin nature.

When I’m tempted to lust, it feels like I can’t help it.  When I’m angry, it just surges up from within me.  It’s not like I make a conscious decision: Hmmm, let’s see.  That person is really provoking me. Should I get angry? No, anger just “naturally” boils up within me.

Ephesians 2:3 says we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath.  These powerful sinful “passions” and “desires” feel “natural” because they spring from our fallen nature.  They truly are our desires.  But we must remember this truth:

God’s Word must be our standard of right and wrong, not our feelings or desires.

Because our feelings and desires are a poor barometer of the truth.

In fact, God commands us to do all kinds of things that run counter to our feelings: to rejoice in all things, to love our enemies, to be humble, to die to ourselves.  None of these are natural.

The whole Christian life is about trusting and obeying God’s Word by the power of the Spirit, and not trusting our feelings or our senses.  The “good fight of faith” is the fight to trust God’s word rather than our circumstances or emotions.

Jesus is the hope of homosexuals – and adulterers and slaves to pornography and alcohol and anger and money and pride.  If we ask, Jesus can change who we are to past tense – “And such were some of you.”

photo by Charlie Jobson (too busy!)

Songwriting Tip: Watch Your Prosody

pros·o·dy* (praw’ suh dee) –noun
1. The science or study of poetic meters and versification.
2.Linguistics . the stress and intonation patterns of an utterance.

A common mistake beginning songwriters make is failing to watch their prosody.

What the heck is prosody, you ask.  Prosody is how you accent words and syllables – where you put the emphasis.  Generally when writing songs and poetry, we want to accent a phrase like we’d speak it.

For example, we wouldn’t say, “I’m goING to the suPERmarKET this afTERRRRRRRnoon.”  Unless you’re wierd.  We must be careful to put the emPHAAAHHsis on the right sylLAHHHHble.

When songwriting we must watch our prosody – what syllables are you holding; on which syllable do you hit that powerful high note?  A good test is – Does the way this line is sung sound natural, like the way I would say it?  Do I emphasize the same syllables I would emphasize when I speak the line?

There you go.  Now you know what prosody is.  Now you can impress your friends at parties.  Just throw in a line like: “You know the other day, I was just tweaking my prosody as I was working on my versification and intonation.”  You’ll be really popular.


Signature Snobbery

This is the age of techno-snobbery, and all the hipster companies include signatures after outgoing messages, like “Sent from my iPad,” or “Sent from my Blackberry.”

I’m almost ashamed to tell you, but someone recently blessed me with the gift of an iPad.  I almost feel guilty to own one, because I was a techno coveter before.  I’d go to Starbucks, unfold my old laptop like I was setting up a three-story scaffold, and look across the coffee shop at the cool person with the sleek computer with the glowing apple on it, and be ashamed of my techno-lowliness. When they flipped the lid of their sleek silver laptop, within nanoseconds they’d be investing on E-Trade, before my Jurassic period clunker would even recognize there was an internet server somewhere within a 20-mile radius.

If you don’t own an iPad or a Blackberry, you need not suffer the humiliation of techno-shame. You can still give the impression of being a hipster.  All you need to do is add the right signature to your email.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Sent from my Lunar Transponder
  • Sent from my Stealthtooth. Never mind that this device doesn’t exist; all your friends will be envious of you for having one.  When they see you and say they can’t see it in your ear, just smile and say, “Why do you think they call it ‘Stealthtooth?'”
  • Sent from my Treadmill. This gives the impression that even while working out, you’re doing email, which heaps mountains of guilt on your friends, because they’re not exercising, let alone doing email at the same time.

Here are 3 more signatures that will definitely impress:

  • Sent by my Chauffeur
  • Sent from my Hot Tub
  • Sent from my Private Table at the Country Club

And here’s a signature for the truly super-spiritual:

  • Sent from my iPray.  You can sound even more spiritual by adding “Day 6 of my fast.”

But in the end, it might be better to come across lowly and humble:

  • Sent from my old, slow, virus-infected desktop

Got any more ideas for impressive signatures?

* iPray drawing done on my iPad

A Surefire Way to Be Unhappy

You’re stuck in a happiness rut and you want to know how to get out.

I understand. I’ve been there before. Sometimes I just get so sick of being happy that I’ve got to take drastic action.

There is one sure fire to get yourself out of a happiness rut:

Make yourself the center of everything.

It’s so simple yet so beautiful. Put yourself and your personal fulfillment at the center of everything that you’re doing. Push God’s glory out of the way and bring your own fulfillment smack dab into the middle.

This solution works with pretty much anything. Parenting is painful when it’s all about you and what you want. Ministry becomes miserable when personal satisfaction and public accolades become the top goal. Work is a nightmare when you’re constantly aware of how unhappy it makes you.

Whatever you do, keep God and his glory and his purposes out of sight. Don’t get tangled up in that stuff. You might accidentally forget about yourself and start being joyful.

Trust me on this. I’m an expert. Make it all about you and you can be unhappy all the time.