trembling before G-D

I just watched a fascinating documentary called:
“Trembling Before G-D”
This movie is built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian. The film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality.
The subjects of the film responded in vastly different ways to the struggle between their faith, tradition, and culture, and their homosexuality. The responses ranged from, “Aaww f-ck it, I’m here, I’m queer, get over it”, to “I am celibate and I’ve devoted my life to the reading of the Torah, and prayers” and everything in-between.

David is an Orthodox gay man who has tried to change his homosexuality, through therapy, and prayer for more than a decade. In one of the most poignant scenes in the film David travels to Jerusalem to re-unite with the Rabbi that he came out to over twenty years ago. He tearfully tells the Rabbi that he has given up on changing, and asks if he is destined to live a life without love.

Devorah, is an ultra-Orthodox lesbian in Israel, who has been married for more than twenty years with several children and grandchildren. She says that the only way she has been able to hide her persuasion and stay in her marriage is the fact that Jewish laws prohibit the husband and wife having sexual activity during certain times of the month and after certain religious rituals. She has repeatedly asked her husband to make their relationship platonic.

Mark is the son of an Orthodox rabbi and was kicked out of numerous yeshivas in England and Israel for homosexual activity and had abandoned Orthodoxy. His is the story of the prodigal son. After years of rejecting his faith and living with wild abandon the film follows Mark’s journey back to the Orthodox faith. Mark is HIV positive, and celibate.

Israel has been in a monogamous relationship for more than 25 years. When Israel came out he was shunned by his family and his congregation. In a very moving scene, Israel writes his 98 year old father a note, hoping for reconciliation. He receives a phone call shortly thereafter and hears his father’s voice for the first time in more than twenty years.

Shlomo is in a monogamous relationship with another man. He and his partner do not engage in anal sex, as the Torah strictly forbids this form of sexual contact. He said that they find fulfillment in other expressions of love, and that they can live without sexual intercourse in order to maintain harmony with their faith.

Malka and Leah met in an Orthodox Jewish all girls high school and have been in a monogamous relationship for 12 years. In one scene you see the devotion to their faith as they prepare for the Passover, and follow the rituals, sing the songs, and pray the prayers.

It was fascinating to put a face with the story. You could sense the struggle that these people were dealing with every day of their lives. This was a very moving film. Click on the banner above, or HERE to see the trailer.

Watching this, several questions came to mind. I’ll pose a few of them here.

Are all sins the same… or are some worse than others? We’ve all heard the saying, “sin is sin” but do we really believe that?

Is the compulsion to do a sinful act, sin in itself, or is it the actual completion of the act that makes it a sin?

Is there any thing that holds such a power over you that you cannot say no?



He is risen...
He is risen indeed!!!


Holy Saturday

"A woman kneels in prayer at the tomb." Earlier today this picture was taken at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a church built over the tomb that is widely believed to have been the burial place of Jesus Christ.


Good Friday

Take time today to remeber the price that was paid...


living a life "in love"

One of my college professors passed away yesterday. James Trumbo loved Jesus. When people ask about James, that’s what they will hear, James loved Jesus. Other professors would walk into class and say, “turn to page 483 in the Pentateuch commentary, blah, blah, blah..” but Mr. Trumbo usually had a different approach. He would walk into class so quietly with a calm sweet smile on his face, silently walk to the front of the room and wait for everyone to get quiet. As soon as the room quieted down he would say, almost in a whisper, “don’t you just love Him? Don’t you just love my Jesus?”
He did this all the time, it was a wonderful way to start the morning just focusing on the love that Jesus had shown us, and giving some back in return.
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He would tell us stories about people he met and how he loved to tell them about Jesus. He told us a story one day of a garbage collector that was out in front of his house. James was taking the last garbage bag out and took a minute to ask the garbage man if he knew Jesus. James was the kind of guy that could pull that off though. The love that James had for Jesus was palpable, you could feel it, you could see it on him. When James led worship you could see that he was completely lost in a love song to his savior. He worshipped the same way when he was in front of a huge crowd as he did when he thought no one was listening.
I was at school early one day and heard James playing piano. It was pitch black inside the chapel, at about 7 in the morning and no one else was there yet. I snuck into the back of the chapel and sat on the floor and listened. He worshipped with all his heart, it was beautiful. His worship wasn’t an act or a show, it was a heartfelt love song. James “lived in love”.

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.”
I John 4.16b-19 NLT


new link

I just added this site to the links section but I wanted to post it here too. Check out http://www.christiancounterculture.com/. They have a free subscription to an e-zine, and they have a bunch of back articles that you can check out too.

grace and peace....


what happens in Vegas.....

I just got back from Las Vegas for the weekend. The things that you see there are just amazing. It seems like people cross over the city limits and completely abandon all self control. We were walking through the shopping area at the Bellagio when we saw a guy stumbling by with a beer in his hand and wet pants. The guy was so drunk that he pissed his pants, and this was only about 11 in the morning!!
On Saint Patty’s Day we saw a young guy literally falling over drunk, carrying a half empty bottle of Irish whiskey through another one of the high end hotels, it was 9 in the morning and we were sitting down to breakfast when we saw this. We saw women hanging out of the top of a limousine and flashing passers by. We saw gluttony on a whole new level at the buffet.
We saw very little self control.
I’ve been discussing the subject of self control with some friends lately. The topic came up when we were talking about the subject of alcohol consumption. Should Christians drink in public, or would that cause others to stumble? My response was, “when does self control come into play?” At what point are people responsible for their own actions regardless of what they see me doing? Does someone get a free pass to get drunk if they see me having a beer in public? One of the people involved in this discussion said that Christians should never drink in public just in case someone were to see you drinking and cause that person to stumble. I then asked if I should refrain from eating dessert in public, just in case someone who is struggling with over eating should see me enjoying the dessert thus causing them to stumble.
See my point?
When does self control come into play?



Yesterday morning in a small evangelical church a longtime member brought a gun to church. Apparently upset over a sermon a few weeks ago, 44 year old Terry Ratzman walked into the service and fired twenty two shots from a 9mm handgun, killing seven and wounding four. Among the dead are the senior pastor, and two members of the youth group including the pastor's 16 year old son. Among the wounded a 10 year old girl. One of Terry's friends at the church was screaming at him as he was shooting, "STOP, STOP, WHY?" Aiming carefully, and shooting slowly, Terry stopped once to reload. At the end of the shooting spree Terry turned the gun on himself and took his own life.
Police say that Terry was on the verge of losing his job, upset with his minister, and belonged to a denomination whose leader recently prophesied that the end times are near.
A relative of one of the wounded said "I wanted to know where God was when this happened, He was supposed to be everywhere. He could have at least been there."


CLICK HERE to read the full story at cnn.com


singing poiticians?

A lot of people have a problem with Bono of U2 being so vocally active in politics. Personally I don't think there is a problem with a rock star that gets involved in politics.

However, I don't think that we should reverse that little scenario. What could happen if politicians decided to take up rock and roll?
U2 could have done a lot worse.
CLICK HERE.....you won't believe your ears..



I was at a meeting with around fifty pastors recently and the keynote speaker compared the modern “altar call” to an “inoculation”. According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary inoculation is defined as follows:

Inoculation: the introduction of a pathogen or antigen into a living organism to stimulate the production of antibodies

For example, giving you just a little (itsy bitsy tiny) bit of the measles virus so that your body develops an immunity to the real thing.
Did you get that? Just enough of the real deal so that you don’t get fully infected, and not only that, you are fully immune to future infection!

Are we missing the point when it comes to salvation? Are we seeking another notch on our belt by getting another raised hand, or another “sinner’s prayer”? Are we sending the wrong message by telling someone that this one act, as simple as raising your hand, and saying this one prayer, will guarantee a life lived in heaven for eternity? And is that really the point of salvation? Is salvation a get out of hell free card? Or is salvation also about the here and now, living a life that honors God, bringing about the “Kingdom of God” right now, here on earth? Is salvation a one time deal? Is salvation an occurrence, or is it a process? Is salvation a one time prayer, or a lifelong journey?

In the modern church are we inoculating the masses, insuring that they will never be fully infected by true salvation?


Snoop Dogg will PIMP YO SITE!!!

If you go to THIS SITE and enter in any web address Snoop Dogg will translate the site for you to make it mo' rizzle fo' shizzle. I put my site in and this is what the prayer I posted a while ago from Thomas Merton ended up looking like:

"My Lord Dogg, I has no idea where I am going n' shit. I do not see da road ahead of me, Nor do I really know myself, 'n da fact that I think I am following yo' will does not mean that I am actually doing so n' shit. But I believe that da desire please yo' ass does in fact please yo' ass, know what I'm sayin'? And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire." And I know that if I do this, yo' ass will lead me by da right road though I may know nothing 'bout that shiznit." Therefore will I trust yo' ass always, though I may seem to be lost 'n in da shadow of death n' shit. I will not fear, fo' yo' ass are ever wit me, 'n yo' ass will never leave me to face my struggles alone." Thomas Merton, 1915-1968, Monk/Poet