The Xanga That Isn’t


    I miss Xanga, but I’m not talking about the end of my paid subscription for Xanga 2.0.   Xanga died when 2.0 was in the works.  I don’t know when it did, and at this point I don’t even care.  Xanga 2.0 was a hollow and false offering.  I’m not even mad about the money I spent for the subscription ripoff.   I just wanted Xanga to be Xanga.  I don’t care what good anyone has to say about Xanga Yuck, as I call this horrible shell of a blog community.   I was expecting things to be different with Xanga Yuck, but I still expected Xanga.  And when I talk about Xanga I don’t mean the Xanga Celebrities, and I don’t mean anything on the shallow front page… That’s it…the shallow and vapid Xanga; the “ish” stupidity, all the signs that the Xanga I loved was really dead and gone.

    When everything became about Xanga Celebrity and front page worship that’s when Xanga really died.  When the moronic “ish” sites started rolling…Things are born, mature, and then die.  I should have been like so many who just jumped ship when they pointed to issues like how the front page became so shallow.   I knew the front page had become an ugly place, but I wanted Xanga…I should have had enough respect for the great thing Xanga was, and jumped ship when things got so shallow and stupid.   Honestly all I’ve ever wanted was the Xanga community, but that ceased to exist.

    So goodbye all.  I thank you for sharing your thoughts and hearts with me, and thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts and hearts with you.

    I’d appreciate it if you would drop me a line at my email address:



    I am working on getting a new blog site set up, but the current ministry projects, in front of me, are higher on my priority list than  the new blog.  So if you would drop me a line we can keep up that way.   There are some of you I want to keep in touch with…I hope anyway!

    I am living an exciting new adventure with God, and I hope to get some time to share what that looks like.


    I’m sure I wrote something about that before, but just in case I haven’t:

    The first draft of:  THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD’S LOVE I LEARNED FROM HOOKERS, is complete.   I don’t have the time, right now to work on the second draft, but once that is done then I need to find an editor.   Once I’ve had the book edited then I will be offering the book 100% FREE OF CHARGE!!

    The book:  THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD’S LOVE I LEARNED FROM HOOKERS, will be offered in a digital download that will be completely FREE of charge to any who want to read it.   If people want to donate then I’ll post links to solid ministries to which you may donate money to, if you want to pay someone for the book.  I will never receive one solitary cent for the book.   “Freely have I been given,” and freely I will give.


    Grace and Peace to you,

    Lonnie  :-)


    I’m getting this list from the always terrific and wonderfully nifty “saintvi”.  If you want to see her post just click on the link:’


    or rather cut and paste since this isn’t the much better XANGA 1.0 version.  Since Xanga has gone to 2.0 I started quoting one of Dorothy’s lines from the Wizard of OZ.   The language in the Wizard of OZ is incredibly dated, so I’ve decided someone should bring her language skills up to 21st Century cool, urban, hip-hop standards…Just like the standards for XANGA 2.0 are set so much higher than Xanga 1.0!  :-0

    What Dorothy said, in the original language of Frank Baum:

    Dorothy:  ”Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” 


    The improved quote:

    “Toto, dis don’t be da hood no mo!!”

    ~Hip, cool, and urban DJ “Emerald City D.”

    I decided to start this post in this way because it is a literary list of 10 books which have stuck with me and why they’ve made a lasting impact on my life.

    Thanks “saintvi” I enjoyed your list of books and we even share a couple of literary loves.

    1. A WRINKLE IN TIME, by Madeleine L’Engle. Wrinkle in Time original

    It’s the first book I ever read from cover to cover.  I came fairly late to the love of reading, but this wonderful little novel for young people is a great gem.  It seemed like it took me forever to read it the first time.   I reread it in college and I flew through it in one day.  I’m sad to say that the book lost a great deal of its literary magic, for me, somewhere between  the first read at age 9, and the last read at about 19.  I still love the characters, plot, and premise.  For some reason I can remember more details about this book than I can novels I’ve read within the last 2 months.

    2.  THE HARDY BOYS, under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.   Hardy boys

    All of the books were ghost written by various authors, all working for the Straitmeyer  Syndicate, a book packaging company.   The original cannon are the first 58 titles, and they were written from 1927-1979.  In 1959 the first books in the series were heavily rewritten, due mostly to negative racial stereotypes.   Whoda thunk a series of fictional mystery stories written by a fictional person could be so successful?  I mean you’ve got to admit it’s quite the novel idea!!  :-}

    The plots and characters are fairly thin, but I really enjoyed reading the Hardy Boy’s original cannon.  I started reading them when I was 10 and continued reading them for several years after that.   The Hardy Boy’s stories helped me gain speed when reading, and became a refuge for me when Television and, seemingly everything else, became boring.   Of course after I read 2 or 3 in a row I was bored of the Hardy Boy’s, as well.  Still more than any other series of books the Hardy Boys captured my young mind, and they contributed greatly in helping me become the avid reader I am today.   The Hardy Boys were also the first books I purchased with the money I earned from a paper route I worked from ages 11 to 16.

    “saintvi” doesn’t have the Hardy Boys on her list, but she does have Nancy Drew.  The Drew stories are similar and follow the same pattern of ghost written books under the pseudonym Caroline Keene.   All the book’s outlines came from the same book packaging company which produced the Hardy Boy’s series The Stratemeyer Syndicate.   Depending on how you look at it, “saintvi” either read the female version of the Hardy Boys or I read the male version of Nancy Drew.   Just remember the Hardy Boys books came out 3 years before Nancy Drew.

    3.  THE HOBBIT, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Hobbit

    The Hobbit is also on “saintvi’s” list.

     This was the first novel I read which was written for adults.   Like the first youth oriented book I read, A Wrinkle In Time, this book seemed to go on forever, the first time I read it.   The Hobbit is one of the most beloved of all the books I’ve read.  I was so enthralled with The Hobbit that I read it even while walking home from a friend’s house.   Part of where I had to walk had no sidewalk.  There wasn’t even much of a shoulder, so there was the narrow little path that ran between highway and a steep sided ditch.   Perhaps you’ve guessed already?    I was so wrapped up in reading The Hobbit that I walked off the path and rolled into ditch!  Klutzo the reading clown never fails to entertain!   I haven’t read it in about two decades, but I’ve got it on my Kindle reader.

    4.  THE XANTH SERIES, by Piers Anthony.   Xanth

    Xanth is also on “saintvi’s” list.

    A Spell for Chameleon was the first book I read in the Xanth series.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into!   I started reading Piers Anthony’s books around age 15.   I can’t tell you what prompted me to pick the first one up, but once I read the first one, I was as hooked as a fat boy with a Lay’s ‘tater chip addiction.   I could never read just one.   I believe Piers Anthony may be the punniest and cleverest of all the fantasy authors I’ve ever read.   Love him or hate him, he is too clever by half!   But it wasn’t simply the yarns he spun that drew me in, it was Anthony himself who drew me in.  At the end of all his books he writes fairly lengthy author’s notes.   Sometimes his author’s notes were better than the novel itself.   Of the ones I read there weren’t too many clunkers, but good or bad the author’s notes were always good.   Anthony would write very personal things about his private life, struggles with his health, and he would also address fans who’d written notes to him.   Sometimes Anthony would get pulled into the drama of a fan’s life.   I always liked Anthony’s novels, but his author’s notes were solid gems all by themselves.   It has been years since I looked into the world of Xanth.  I wonder what’s been happening since I moved far away from the magical boundary??

    If you’ve never heard of Xanth and would like to know what it looks like, simply take a map of the United States, find Florida and you will know precisely what the magical kingdom of Xanth looks like.   Never mind that Anthony lives in the state of Florida.   Did I say Anthony was too clever by half??   Okay, maybe he’s too clever by the 1,000th.   At least he didn’t call his magical land Flo Rida!  :-D

    5. THE PARTNER: A NOVEL, by John Grisham.  Grisham

    My sister joined a book club and the first book she received was The Partner.  By the time I read my first John Grisham novel at least 5 of his books were already made into movies or were in production.   I knew the name Grisham, knew he was a famous author.   So popular was Grisham, that he was both literary gold and cinematic gold.

    Before I was halfway through The Partner I knew Grisham was a Christian.   He didn’t write an overtly religious book; he didn’t thump the Bible so hard the novel was lost to heavy handed religious moralizing.  I’ve often offered Grisham as proof that being a Christ follower doesn’t mean you have to write a novel, paint a canvas, or choreograph a dance which beats people over the head with the Bible or a blatant religious message.   Grisham is subtle, but I had no trouble finding the evidence in his novels of a Christ centered outlook.   I have been the most avid reader and ardent fan of John Grisham, since that first book.   When I was packing up my books to move from South Carolina Grisham, alone, filled 2 boxes.

    6. THE COLOR PURPLE, by Alice Walker.  color_purple

    The first book that made me actually weep, and I don’t mean cry.  I WEPT!  Deep wracking, shake the whole body, blow snot and tears everywhere, weeping.   When I saw the movie I wept as well.  Few  books have moved me as much as The Color Purple.   Walker wrote one of the most incredible journey’s any person, real or imagined ever had.  It could have been a book which pushed people away with its harsh word pictures of the treatment of women of African decent, in the early 20th Century, Southern United States.   Some truth’s are simply too harsh for some people.   Walker grabbed me up with the hands of little, ugly, oppressed, raped, used, misused, cussed out, beat down, Celie.  Celie, had her way with me, and I let her.  She didn’t treat me like she had been treated, she just dragged me along behind like an old laundry bag.   I could not escape the little nothing who lived a life so tragic that you couldn’t help but want to see her life change.  And when Celie started changing herself, and she started rising up out of the abuse and oppression, finds success with her own business, and finally is reunited with her little sister and the two children, Celie was forced to give up in her youth!!…LOOK OUT HERE COME THE TEARS, Y’ALL!!

    7.  THE HOLY BIBLE, (but only in the company of the Holy Spirit, who breathed the Scriptures).  Bible meme

    I am a Christian, and perhaps the Bible is simply a given, and perhaps I make too much by bringing it up, or maybe I’m in danger of looking holier than thou, or self-righteous, by including the Bible??

    Actually including the Bible in a list of books which have had a great impact on my life, to my way of thinking, is simply a no brainer.  But I don’t simply throw the title of the book around.  The Bible all by itself is actually useless and dangerous and quite frankly has been the excuse many people have used to do the most despicable things to their fellow humans.   If the Holy Spirit doesn’t come with the Bible then we’d do better just to toss the Bible in the trash can.  Without the Holy Spirit who is the author and authority of the Bible it is much to dangerous in merely human hands.   The Bible in the company of the Holy Spirit is life, joy, peace, and freedom eternally.   The Bible with the author is good, but the Bible without the Holy Spirit is just another rule book, and just another weapon in the arsenal of people who do not love or serve the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

    The Bible teaches, “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”   When we place our trust in Jesus Christ, and take the Bible into dead hands merely human hands, (figuratively speaking) we allow Christ Jesus to  make us alive because He is the resurrection from the dead!

    8.  SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY CHURCH, by Dean Merrill Angry Church

    The title says it all.  The biggest problem for God isn’t the sinners outside His Church.  God’s biggest problem is that before He can reach the lost in the world He has to deal with the sins of His own children.  When the Church condemns we condemn only OURSELVES!!   “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17.  ”You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass (condemning) judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” — “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”  Romans 2:1 and 4.  (Bold print, italics, and underlining are my additions).

    God is full of loving kindness toward sinners, because God’s loving kindness leads; draws; compels us to repentance.   Anger and condemnation are not God’s intent, God’s intent is salvation.  Condemnation comes from ourselves.

    9.  THE CAUSE WITHIN YOU, by Matthew Barnett; and GENEROUS JUSTICE: HOW GOD’S GRACE MAKES US JUST, by Timothy Keller.

    Generous Justice The Cause

    I read them at the same time, because for the last couple of years I’ve been reading books together.  Both books are phenomenal resources, but reading them at the same time brought a greater understanding of both.   I can’t explain how the Holy Spirit them work together so well, for me, but He did it!!   Currently I’m reading THE TRUEST THING ABOUT YOU, by David Lomas, while at the same time I’m reading NEVER GO BACK; 10 THINGS YOU’LL NEVER DO AGAIN, by Dr. Henry Cloud.  David Lomas’ book focuses directly on what God says are the truest things about us, as believers/followers of Christ.   Dr. Cloud’s book is about 10 things every believer should abandon right now, and for ever more.  The Chapters in NEVER AGAIN, look like this:  ”1. Never Again…Return to What Hasn’t Worked:  2. Never Again…Do Anything That Requires You to Be Someone You’re Not: 3. Never Again…Try to Change Another Person,” and so on.   Reading the two books together looks like the Holy Spirit is multitasking.  Humans can’t multitask, but God can, and when I’m reading two books that lead me deeper into God then God works things faster and His power seems to be greater, and His insights are so much greater and more powerful to change me.

    In any case…GENEROUS JUSTICE and THE CAUSE WITHIN YOU, made very good bedfellows as it were.   In the Introduction, of GENEROUS JUSTICE, Timothy Keller has a section titled: Who Is This Book For?  

    “There are four kinds of people who I hope will read this book.  There is a host of young Christian believers who respond with joy to the call to care for the needy.  Volunteerism is the distinguishing mark of an entire generation of American college students and recent graduates.  The NonProfit Times reports that teens and young adults are leading “enormous spikes in applications to volunteer programs.”  

    And from THE CAUSE WITHIN YOU, comes a little something about the founder and leader, Matthew Barnett, of The Dream Center, in Los Angeles, California.

    “Matthew is the most giving person I know. Not only is he free with his encouragement, on a practical level he can’t carry much cash on him because by the time he gets to wherever he’s going, he’s given it all away to people in need.”

    I didn’t pick favorite quotes from either book, I chose to show passages which would explain the central focus of both books.  Read the two passages from the two books, and you’ll get an idea of why they might be good choice to be read together.  Add the presence and involvement of the Holy Spirit and I can guarantee there will be powerful insights, great wisdom, and dynamic drive to join God in the work He always does with the needy, oppressed, disaffected, and downtrodden.

    Give it a shot; pick up two Christian books by different authors, writing about the same subject, and see what God will open up in your heart, mind, and life.

    10.  HARRY POTTER series, by J.K.Rowling.  harry-potter-series

    I’m with “saintvi” on this one as well.

    And like “saintvi”, had my fellow Christians not made such a terrible fuss about Harry Potter, I’d never have read the novels.   I read the first one, and loved it.  What my fellow Christians were condemning was stuff and nonsense.   The majority of criticisms, from Christians, had no basis in fact at all.  Since when have lying, slander, and defamation, been virtues modeled by Jesus Christ??!!   Are there some people who will take their fantasy life too far, and thus their involvement will become unhealthy?   People obsessing and taking things too far was a problem long before Harry Potter strolled out of J.K. Rowling’s pen.

    Ahem! Any Christians remember Hal Lindsey and his, supposedly, prophetic books?   You know, books like The Late Great Planet Earth??   How many of the obsessed religious took Lindsey’s fantasies WAY TO FAR??  And what’s truly sad are there are still religious people riding his “end times” bandwagon!!   At least Rowling never claimed her books were ever anything but fiction!

    That’s what I’m talkin’ bout Y’all!!

    Keepin’ it REAL

  • “Feely” Post-Evangelicals Are The Fallout From The Evangelicals They Follow


    I’ve mentioned a new book written by Matthew Vines called, God And The Gay Christian.  My heart honestly goes out to this young man, and any who’ve come from the loud mouthed, Bible thumping, “do nothing” evangelicals of my day and before my day.   I’ve also written about “Revangelical”  the blog sight of Brandan Robertson.   He’s another of the new evangelicals I call “feely” post-evangelicals.

    Brandan Robertson, has a recent post up about being called a heretic by fellow Christians, and frankly it’s just disgusting, but what can we expect?   Brandan doesn’t fit the mold of the evangelicals who came before.    I take issue with Brandan, but the issues with Brandan are different, because I understand what post-evangelicals have been handed by us evangelicals.

    You can find Brandan Robertsons blog post here :   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/revangelical/2014/07/23/2013724i-have-been-crucified-with-christ-reflections-on-being-a-her-html.html

    The first two bullet points Brandan gives, to explain why he’s vilified as a heretic, would have brought me to the same conclusion about Robertson, about 5 years ago.    Robertson says:

    • The Bible is not clear on the issue of homosexuality and those who affirm and are gay Christians are still none the less Christians (even if they turn out to be wrong)
    • No one has a fully reliable interpretation of the Bible.

    I had to bite my tongue, top lip, and bottom lip to keep from expressing my first thought which was something like: “Well, DUH kid!”   “Of course, dipstick,  if you say heretical things then you’re going to get pasted with the epithet.”    I held my peace, and thought about it for a little while, (something I would not have done, just 5 short years ago,) and this is what I came up with:

    Brandan isn’t operating from a  long experience with obeying Jesus Christ, and that realization opened a new can of worms for me.   Robertson doesn’t have any experience with evangelicals that have the cure for homosexuality.  The only thing conservative Christians, of the evangelical flavor, have been offering in the past is harsh condemnation.   Condemnation hasn’t set anyone free from homosexuality.  So if condemnation doesn’t heal, and evangelicals won’t approach it some other way, then honestly, what do we expect from people like Brandon Robertson.   Everyone can call Robertson and his crowed heretics, but when the only other option is condemnation then Robertson is already dealing with heretics.  God has given the answer through Jesus Christ and since Jesus states clearly, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,” then too many traditional evangelicals started the heretical ball rolling by offering condemnation instead of sticking to what Jesus CLEARLY teaches!   Those disagreeing with him can call Robertson a heretic all they want, but what current evangelicals need to do is own responsibility for our own heresy, disobedience, and hypocrisy!    Jesus can and does overcome every sin, and that includes the sin of homosexuality.   The trouble with old line evangelicals is it’s easier to condemn than it is to listen, engage, and reach relationally to relationally/sexually broken people.   Those of us who come before the post-evangelicals have proved what G.K. Chesterton said in the late 1800′s:  ”Christianity has not been tried and found lacking. Christianity has been found difficult and left untried.”

    Evangelical heal thy self:  We must repent of misrepresenting Christ,  misusing his name for selfish ends which have not served or promoted God’s eternal kingdom, and set out to learn how God overcomes homosexuality through Jesus Christ.


    There I’ve said it, and I’m sticking to it!!



    Working, but still no job


    I’ve been out of  a job for an entire month, but I’ve got lots to do.  I was terribly sick all last week.  All the cleaning and dealing with dust and dust mites, not to mention the mold.  I think my old place was secretly the kingdom of mold.   I also hadn’t really had any proper time off since April.  I am one tired out little dog, let me tell you.  I have no doubt I became sick largely due to exhaustion.   This is the second time in two months I’ve had to take a round of antibiotics.

    I’m much better now, but I’m behind in my work at the church.  I have this week to pull everything off, and that includes a sermon for this Sunday.  That’s why this is ‘writing day’.  I’ve got to get a list of sources and Bible verses I’ll be using, plus an outline to my pastor, who is in Brazil visiting with his wife’s family.  So here we are on “writing day”.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t write something here as well, since I’ve already promised to do so.  I like Iowa, it’s a beautiful little place.  They can’t make up their mind if it’s going to be warm or cold, Related Thought: Perhaps this is why so many in the North are such rude jerks, the weather is such a rude jerk?  But, I digress…

    Iowa is not unlike the place I’ve visited in my mother’s home state of Wisconsin.   If I didn’t know better I’d honestly think I was living somewhere in Wisconsin.  There are gently rolling hills, lots of farming, and small communities which have come together to create the large community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I’m hoping it doesn’t mean I’ll be getting a complete Wisconsin winter.  Since I’ve been living in South Carolina any winter threatens to be psychologically overwhelming, and potentially physically overwhelming as well.   I’ll have to remember to get a space heater soon.   I like to keep the thermostat low, and use a little space heater to offset.   Iowans, so far are very nice and warm people.   It could be people are warm because they come from anyplace else but Iowa.  So far I think I’ve met more non-Iowans than actual native born.   Most of the outsiders I’ve met have lived here for decades.  I don’t know if all these people are trapped here by jobs, or if they really like Iowa.  My suspicion is that Iowa is one of those places that is a fantastic secret most people never find.

    Of course I could be anywhere, and I would have to find something workable about it.  I’m here not for Iowa, but in the service of Christ.  If God had called me to Mexico, I’d find something to like about it.  It doesn’t matter where I am, so long is it’s where God is calling me to be.  I have sense this will be a short stop off before God moves me to the next place.  I couldn’t tell you why, but I’ve had this sense before and I’ve never been led wrong yet, but we shall see.

    Since coming to this church, two weeks ago, I’ve accomplished a lot of cleaning and organizing.  There are so many things this church needs, and most of them are little things I can do.  No one should ever confuse me with a person who is handy.  I am not a handy person.  I have none of those things most American males may boast of, i.e. the ability to build, repair, patch, or ‘fix’ engines, plumbing, electrical appliances, putting up walls, and etc.   If you want to see my older brother, who is himself a handy man phenom, double over in laughter, all you need do is put a hammer in my hand.    I must have a serious talk with God when we meet face to face, because it is clearly unfair to be left without what the majority of men hold as simply a common ability.  Sure some men have more or less ability to work with their hands, but I’m left absolutely in the cold.

    I could tell you horror stories, well not horror exactly, more like hilarious stories about my handy man exploits.   I’ve been horrified at the results of my work, but none of them have truly risen to the level of horror.   My older brother, the handy man phenom, once told me I could replace my own burnt out headlight.   He was right, I successfully got a new headlamp into the housing, and even got it plugged in, but the result was still completely unsatisfactory.   With one headlamp I could see the road in front of me, and with other I could see all the tree leaves and power lines above me as I drove.  With my walleyed headlight no squirrel, opossum, or raccoon could ever execute a surprise attack on my car at night.   Never you mind that I’d never been thus attacked, previously, before I replaced the headlight.   Please don’t confuse me with the facts!

    In any case here I am, my second week, as a functioning human, working at the church to prepare my sermon for Sunday.  The sermon is based in Romans 8:1-3.  ”Therefore there is now no condemnation…”  I’ll take the various uses and meanings for the word ‘condemnation’ and show how Christians have a tendency to live not very Christ centered and therefore free lives.   The first of ‘condemn’ from Dictionary.com, is, “to express unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of, censure.”   Wow!  The Dictionary.com definition could be made a footnote to Romans 8:1!  If there ever was a message Christians need today it’s that God is not speaking to us with angry words; isn’t offering adverse judgment; and isn’t giving us words of censure.   The problem is that we do not recognize the work God has done for us through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   “Therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ (Messiah) Jesus.”   The problem with Christians, as I see it, is that we keep condemning ourselves and we heap it upon everyone around us.   When we bring our thinking into line with what the Bible actually teaches, and ditch what we’ve been thinking all along, our “merely human” way of thinking, then we’ll know that God does not condemn us.   Too many of us think, and say about ourselves, “I’m ugly, worthless, and hopeless, while I might be a ‘Christian’ I am still ugly, worthless and hopeless.”   Now we may not say, literally, “I’m ugly…” we’ll compare ourselves to others around us, and once we’ve found what WE think is better we’ll once again put OURSELVES into the “I’m ugly” SELF-concept prison, that WE’ve always had for OURSELVES.   Notice please that I’ve capitalized all of the self pronouns, because ME, MYSELF, and I are the greatest problem in the world for ME.   When I come to Romans 8 it is GOD who become huge, and it is i who am made nothing.  What GOD says about me is that HE is conforming me to the IMAGE and LIKENESS OF JESUS CHRIST!!   Romans 8:29 “For those GOD foreknew HE also predestined to be conformed to the image of HIS SON.”   Whether you are supremely gorgeous or butt ugly physically is irrelevant.   If you truly belong to CHRIST then GOD is conforming you to the image and likeness of JESUS.  Even the ugliest of us in Christ are beautiful, and that is GOD’S truth!!

    Anyway, that’s what I’m writing about on WRITING DAY!!


    I am in Cedar Rapids, Iowa!  I always said, “I don’t think anyone lives in Iowa.  I think they go in to work there, lock up the state for the night, and go home!”

    It’s turned cold here…34 degrees is the expected temp tonight.   After South Carolina I’m actually enjoying the cool.

    I’ve got a great many wonderful things to write about, but that will have to wait until  Sunday or Monday.




    The great adventure begins!  I’m on my way!  Oh, wait, I still haven’t picked up the moving truck.  Sorry!   The adventure will have to wait until I’ve loaded the truck… :~|€

    Story of my life!


    Where I Am Now



    I hate that Xanga 2.0 is just a big fat zero!   I won’t be here any longer, but I’ll let you know where I am.  Don’t think I’ll give up blogging, but I’m not sure where exactly I’ll land.  I do have other blogging accounts, but I’m changing and want to do something new.

    Something Old Something New:

    I’m going back to blogging about sexual brokenness, and I may do that with a completely separate blog specific to that issue.   Let me say up front the ugly, mean, insulting days of trollish ex-gay guy are gone.   The “ex-gay troll” was meant to serve several purposes.  My target audience, difficult to believe as it may be, wasn’t actually people struggling with same-sex attraction, or gay people.   My intended audience was my fellow Christians who don’t struggle themselves with SSA (Same-Sex Attraction).   I was mean to both gay and struggling against same-sex attraction people.  The truth is, and the demise of Exodus International goes a long way to support this, there are little if any real differences between gay people and religious people who claim to struggle against SSA.   You can’t take a bunch of ex-gay people and put them somewhere to struggle.   It takes the Church, empowered by and led by the Holy Spirit.

    When I started outreach to the supposed strugglers, I knew few if any of them were ever going to successfully escape their SSA.  No matter how sincere and devoted SSA strugglers may be to Christ, putting them together and then dumping them somewhere away from the body life of the Church cannot work.   If you’re going to take a journey you’re going to need a guide to get you there.  If the guide doesn’t know where he/she is going then you’ll get no where near the goal.   Stick a bunch of religious gay, or ex-gay if you prefer, in a room together and you’ll get a religious gay dating service.   Exodus International was little more than a religious gay dating service.   “The wounded healer”, approach will not work for the most profoundly sexually broken people.   It takes God’s people from outside homosexuality to lead strugglers with SSA to freedom.   Today 25 years after leaving homosexuality, with no looking back I would never…NEVER…attempt to lead a profoundly sexually broken person to freedom by myself.   It takes people with a lesser brokenness to reach in an help.

    Being confronted with and daily dealing with sin leads to nothing but failure.  It is when we see Christ that we realize how terrible and hateful our sin is.  If all you ever learn to do is struggle with sin, you’ll never find your way to relationship with Jesus Christ.   It is the relationship with Christ which frees us.

    I started taking showers when I was a teenager.  The only time I’ve used a bathtub to take a bath was when I didn’t have a shower.   I take showers because when I took a bath I’d have to empty the tub, and then shower off.  When I first got into the tub the water was clean, but after I  soaped up then the water around me was full of my dirt.  Why should I bathe and then have to shower off?    The problem with “Ex-gay” ministry is it’s like dumping a bunch of dirty kids into a big bathtub.  All they ever really do is deal with their dirt, but the water never gets changed.   People can’t spend their lives washing the same  old dirt off themselves, and then sitting there in in old bath water.  How stupid we Christians are!   People who struggle with SSA need rivers of flowing water, that only Jesus can give.  The flow of living water washes us off, and then the powerful current carries to ever deeper and deeper relationship with God and one another.

    So while I’m going back to something old the way I do that thing is going to be completely different.  First the Church has to learn what to do, and then we have to be led to the place where we can do that.  First we deal with the sexually broken people within the Church’s own walls.   When we reach the strugglers among us then we deal with those who have a true desire to seek God and his kingdom.   No one can accuse us of trying to make gay people change against their own wills.   Frankly, we shouldn’t focus on gay people changing.  When we see the great love, mercy and grace of God we want to turn from our sins.   The problem we have to solve is that we need to offer the great relationship rather than offering either condemnation or acceptance of sin.

    New Career:

    Sometimes God needs to get our attention through pain.   For the last two years I have been in the worst work situation I’ve ever experienced.   I have been truly living in work Hell.   It is very difficult to get me to change.  God called me to vocational ministry 24 years ago, and I have absolutely refused to enter it.   Don’t get me wrong I’ve been ministering for years and years, but would never answer God’s specific call for my life.   There are so many factors and issues it would take a long series of blogs to explain it all, so I won’t begin here.   The old career is gone, and though I am not fully into the new vocational call, I am at least on the right road.  The book I’ve been writing for nearly 20 years is literally mere pages from completion.   I don’t know what God will do with the book.   It may never go anywhere, but that isn’t the point.  The point is I needed to obey and write the thing.   Honestly I think the book has been more informative and transformational for me than it will ever be to anyone else.   I needed the book for me more than anyone else needs to read it.

    I really started writing the book in earnest in January of this year, and the first draft will be done in less than a week.  I’ll have to work out a second draft, before I start looking for an editor to complete the editing for me, but the hardest part is all over but the screaming.

    Next Step:

    I don’t know where I’ll be moving my blog, but I’ll let you know, when I’ve found a place.   I don’t know when I’ll be publishing my book, but I’ll be self-publishing online in a downloadable PDF, for free.  I’ll let you know.  If you’d like to drop me a line and leave me your email address I’ll keep you updated

    My ministry email is:  thesaltworksministry@gmail.com

    I look forward to hearing from some of you





  • Lions! Tigers! And Gays! OH MY! Part 4


    (What Would Jesus Condemn?)

     I’ve been talking about Christians dealing with President Obama’s executive order which prohibits those who receive government funding or contracts from discriminating against LGBT persons.  Obama’s order doesn’t have an exemption for religious organizations who receive government funds.

    I think the most important question I haven’t asked yet is, “Christian, where would you like for LGBT people to be?”  Let’s take a moment to seriously consider this matter:  “If you are the light of the world, and if you have an eternal relationship with God why not take every opportunity to draw all kinds of people, including LGBT people to where Christ can get close to them?”  If you believe homosexual practice is an abomination then working with or around you would be ideal to bring them into contact with the “good news”.   Jesus saves from abomination!  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ then you believe he’s saved you from your sins, so give that same “good news” to those around you.

    If the government forces you to do your work with LGBT persons then find a way to show the world overcoming love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.   Christians have used either condemnation of or total acceptance of sin, for the past 30 years and nothing has been working.  Rather than push sinners away, or ignoring their sins, why not do what Jesus did?

    The Pharisees of Jesus’ day condemned all who were not like them.  When Jesus was having dinner at the house of one of the leading Pharisees, a woman came into his house, went directly to Jesus, and started washing his feet with her tears.

    “When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”  Luke 7:39.

    The Pharisee could do nothing but condemn the sinner for her sins, but Jesus forgave the woman’s sins.  If you have the cure condemnation is nothing but cruelty.  For Christians to condemn sinners is like a wealthy man refusing to feed his own children, because of the cost.  If you are a Christian or Christ follower then you have the wealth of God’s kingdom, so how can you refuse sinners, any sinner, the wealth God has lavished upon you?

    When Jesus is hanging on a Roman Cross the sins of sinners are place upon him.  We’re not simply talking about a transference of a guilty verdict.   The weight, knowledge of, and reality of sin was placed upon Christ.  Jesus, for the first time knew exactly what we all of us know from early childhood, the shame, feelings of, and power of sin.   Jesus knows our sins literally and intimately.

    “For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us…”

    2 Corinthians 5:21a

    Jesus knows us by our sins.  Jesus knows how wicked we truly are.  Jesus knows that we deserve nothing but his condemnation.  Jesus knows he is innocent, and he knows these same people crucifying him have murdered many more innocents than him.  Jesus knows that our guilt is absolutely irrefutable and yet this is his prayer on the cross, for those guilty of murdering an innocent:

    “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

    Luke 23:34

    Jesus knows our true hearts, and yet he does not condemn those who deserve condemnation.   Consider this then:

    Jesus not only takes the penalty for our sins, but he refuses to give condemnation.  Jesus not only takes our sins to death, but he continues to offer hope and life.  Jesus takes sin to the grave and he takes God’s righteous condemnation to the grave, as well.

    I believe in Hell, but any who go there will go there because they have rejected so great a love.  All who go to Hell will do so under their own power, and they will be their own condemnation.

    If you are a Christians consider something else:

    If God is conforming Christians to the likeness of Jesus, then, “Father forgive them…” is where God is taking us, as well.  So why is it Conservative Christians continue to be, very often, condemning?   Does the law condemn sinners for their sins?  We know the law does condemn sinners, and I would never argue against the law or the condemnation of the law.  But what must be argued, and what I believe is God’s argument is that salvation saves us from the sting of death from the law, but Jesus also saves from condemnation.

    “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

    John 1:17

    So the law came through Moses, and what does that law look like for the Homosexual?

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is abomination.”

    Leviticus 18:22

    BAD NEWS!!  Nothing else to be said about the law: Bad News!

    But what does the law look like with Jesus?   What does law look like with grace and truth applied?


    “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

    Romans 8:1-2

    I can tell you exactly what the law look like with truth and grace applied, in my own life.   “Lonnie you are a law breaker and you are guilty of committing abominations.  Because of the law you are dead in sin.  BUT through Jesus Christ you are no longer a sinner dead in sin, you have been made born again by the Spirit of God.  The Spirit breaks all the bonds of sin and death, and gives you life.  You are no longer an object of wrath, but a beloved son of God and in eternal relationship with God.”

    The law which was death to me has now become a reminder of all that Jesus has accomplished for me.  When I look at Leviticus 18:22, I don’t see a future of death and punishment, but a reminder of the great gift Jesus has given me!  What was once death is a cherished proof of the power of God to overcome all the world can produce in me, and that is sin.

    With so great a power to save, heal, fix, rebuild, raise from the ashes, how could anyone claim to represent Christ and offer anything but grace and truth, which overcomes the world, and also the condemnation and death,, the law necessarily brings?  What doctor, having the cure for a disease protests or seeks the formation of laws against disease??   If the doctor has the cure he/she merely gives the cure.   Why aren’t Christians who claim the cure, condemn instead of giving the cure?   I believe it is the cost of the cure!  But what cost disobedience?   If Jesus puts condemnation to death, then what will happen to those who claim to be Christ followers who continually give condemnation instead of the Lord’s prayer, “Father forgive…?”   If God is conforming us to the image and likeness of Christ then we will rather plead against, not for condemnation.

    How great is the punishment of Hell for those who claim relationship with and through Christ who condemn others??


  • Lions! Tigers! and Gays! OH MY! Part 3

    No Where To Go.  No One To Trust

    Jesus said, to the Jewish leaders:

    Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

    John 10:36-38

    We keep expecting LGBT people to believe what we say, but we can’t show them how God administers the life giving gospel of the life, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to them.  Jesus doesn’t do what we do today.   Jesus  points to the work of the Father in and through him, and says, “Look at the works only God can do, and believe me, because the words I speak and works I do prove each other!”

    The only people who believe Jesus are the tax collector, some Roman soldiers,  half-breed Jews (Samaritans), and prostitutes:

    Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

    Matthew 21:31-32

    The irony here is  these religious leaders of Jesus’ day are actually very moral and upright, but the prostitutes and tax collectors truly are not.   They do not go near tax collectors and prostitutes.  They can’t free prostitutes and tax collectors from their sins and give them new lives.  All the religious leaders can do is look down their noses at all those sinners, and put them out of the temple and synagogs.   Funny, Jesus comes along and a man can hardly find a hooker or a Jewish tax bully anywhere he’s been teaching and healing!

    LGBT people should never do what we tell them to do.   If after 45 years we don’t know God’s answer for homosexuality then no one should believe us.  Is Matthew Vine an evangelical and a game changer?   Yes, I’d have to say he is, and why shouldn’t we consider him one of us?   He’s showed as much knowledge and ability to bring gay people to the homosexuality overcoming power of God as John Piper, Al Mohler, John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll, Rick Warren.   And look a Rob Bell, he’s way out ahead of the curve.  He says he’s for love no matter what it looks like.   And why shouldn’t Bell and Vine hold to their positions on homosexuality?   Who among evangelicals knows how God desires to work freedom and change in the lives of sexually broken people??   Christians can’t show LGBT people the world overcoming work of the Holy Spirit because they think it’s easier and just as acceptable to God to stand against sin.   The thinking goes something like this:

    “If I stand across the street with a picket sign at a Gay Pride Parade that should be sufficient to show God I’m against sin.”

     Few of us ever go among the sexually broken.  We’re all  afraid of being judged by the religious leaders of our own day.   We’re also concerned that people might start getting the idea we’re gay if we start hanging out with gay people.  Christian guys are afraid if they reach out to help a gay guy, the homosexual will develop a crush on them.   (I’ve had to explain to more than one Christian man, that gay men have standards and exceptional taste, so very few Christian men are in danger of attracting a gay crush).    No one who has the cure for a terrible disease wastes time condemning the illness.   Jesus wasn’t afraid the sinners he hung out with were a threat to his way of life or thinking.   Jesus didn’t hesitate to go to the worst of sinners.  Jesus brought the cure to the world and he didn’t sit around ranting or raving about Nero (Obama to many of today’s Christians).   Jesus came to find what was lost, and to offer eternal life.  If after 45 years you’re still standing around like the religious leaders of Jesus day,  condemning sinners and excommunicating them, then how can you possibly expect  people to trust us?

    I’ve had many many Christians tell me I should be among LGBT people, because my story of God’s work in my life is so powerful.  I can’t go to gay people and tell them how God changed my life.   Where would I send them after I told them how great God’s salvation is??   I’ll tell the gay people and the Church will simply prove me wrong.   All my life I’ve watched Christians destroy the faith of others because they show no love, no understanding, no faith that God will change the sinner.  they don’t reach with love and faith that God can overcome sins.   I’ve watched Christians do it time and time again, someone reveals they are gay and they are shunned, refused opportunities to work in their church.   And God help the sexually broken persons who showed any kind of interest in youth or children.  People who’re living lives which bear good fruit for all to see have received death threats if they get too close to children/youth ministries.  There are so few safe places, in the Church,  for people struggling against same-sex attraction.

    People who leave homosexuality are in danger from the LGBT community, but the Church hasn’t offered a safe place for them to remain safe and pursue the life and freedom God will freely give them.  The Church is as dangerous a place for those dealing with same-sex attraction as the LGBT community is.   No one is going to listen to a voice which offers life, relationship, peace and eternal life, if all the evidence proves  those words false.

    The Church had better stop worrying about Obama’s executive order and start learning about God’s orders.   If, increasingly, no one can tell the difference between the traditional evangelical and the Matthew Vine kind of evangelical then that will be all the proof God will need, and he will start believing there is no difference between the two parties.  God overcomes, the Church…er, perhaps I should say church (lower case “c”) because the evidence of God’s overcoming power is lacking.   Great is the wisdom of God!   When we stand before God we’ll either be conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus, or Matthew Vine, or Fred Phelps.   God isn’t going to have to point any fingers, he’ll see Jesus or he won’t.




  • Lions! Tigers! And Gays! OH MY! Part 2


    The good news is Jesus Christ has overcome the world.   Also in the good new column: God says something incredible about those who believe in the saving grace and life transforming power of God:  “In fact this is love for God: to obey his commands.  His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:3-4.   So now here’s the thing…God desires to overcome the world in and through you.   Still in the  good news column:  The truth that God can and will overcome homosexuality.  Remember 1 Corinthians 6?   “And such were some of you.”   God has got the answer though he really doesn’t give the answer in 1 Corinthians 6.    While you might find that a problem I most certainly do not.  My not knowing the answer to the problem isn’t the problem.  The Holy Spirit has the answer to all sin problems and I’m his house.  I live with the person, the Holy Spirit, who knows how to fix, cure, save, free, deliver from sin.      In other words the answer is to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you to love people to the freedom found only in Jesus Christ.


    There is a new young evangelical out there, and he’s written a really terrific book, called,  God And The Gay Christian.  His name is Matt Vine.  Ok, it’s not a terrific book, in fact it’s completely derivative.  There is nothing original at all in the book.  I was reading the stuff in Vine’s book nearly 30 years ago.  I do like the way he packages the book, it’s easy to read, you feel a connection to the writer though not the material.  Well you might get a connection with the material, I can’t get into what Vine writes because it’s just such truly bad theology, and his conclusions are simply pulled out of his ear or the same place all bad theology comes from the broken, unwashed, deceived human heart.   Vine isn’t the angry, accusing sort of gay religious type.  He attempts to approach his audience with respect and kindness.  He is relational, and I honestly like and appreciate the approach.  He makes several dives at the Gay utopia speak.  He claims that gay people can’t ever change and then as his absolute and irrefutable proof he holds up the failure of Exodus International (Gay Utopia Speak are those things gay people say about being born gay, that gays can’t change, and any attempt to change is harmful and dangerous, and etc., and etc., ad nauseum.   I honestly feel sad for Matthew when he points at Exodus International and claims its failure is 100% proof gays can’t change.   Exodus International was doomed, not because gay people can’t change.  Exodus International failed because, “Birds of a feather flock together.”  If all you know is homosexuality, and all the person you’re trying to help to freedom, from homosexuality, knows nothing but homosexuality then all that can be known is gay.   Exodus International was the blind leading the blind, so where else could a bunch of blind gay people end up but in gay christian relationships??

    People like Rachel Held Evans, author of, A Woman’s Year Of Living Biblically, and another young neo-feely evangelical named Brandan Robertson call Vines’, “a game changer.”  I find Brandan Robertson’s claim that Vine is a game changer a bit more believable than I do Evans’, but then I don’t trust the neo-feely evangelicals, and Held Evans is a leader in that camp.  Brandan claims that after having lunch with Matt Vine he realized that Vine is an evangelicals like the ones he’s known all his life.

    I must admit, at first I thought Robertson had lost his mind.   But as I started to think about Robertson’s assertion I realized he is dead on target.  Matthew Vine isn’t any different from the lion share of evangelicals I’ve known.   Vine doesn’t know what to do with homosexuality and he cherry picks the verses he likes to support his position.  Vine’s arguments come from the same old sources gay theology has always been dependent on and all the other evangelicals I’ve known use the Bible as an excuse not to reach out and help homosexuals come to God for God to change them.  Unfortunately I’m going to have to admit that Brandan Robertson is right about Matt Vine:  Vine is an evangelical.

    This is  VERY VERY BAD NEWS!   if evangelicals can’t see the difference between Matthew Vine and any other evangelical then there is a very strong possibility there are no vast differences to speak of.   What sets the Church apart is both the words and deeds of God done in us and through us.   If we can’t find the path to God for LGBT people, then have you really found the way of life?   Claiming Jesus can change homosexuals is a far cry from proving it.   Jesus tells us he could prove what he said, and he proved the words he spoke by doing the works Father called him to accomplish.   “And such were some of you, (1 Corinthians 6:11).”   If you don’t know how to minister Christ’s life to LGBT persons “such were you,” is meaningless, for at least some of the sinners mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6.

    So what shall the evangelical movement do now?   Here come the LGBT evangelicals, and if you think the body of Christ is polarized now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.   One of the things I find most off putting about Vine’s book is that all of his arguments are the arguments of mere unwashed, untransformed man.  Vine is suggesting you and I take his special theology, you know the Gay rose colored glasses and read the Bible through them, so that we see what Vine desperately wants us to see.  Vine wants you and I to see the Bible, God, and Gays differently.   This is where Vine’s book falters badly:  The problem isn’t persuading me to read the Bible his way.  Because, in and of myself, I am a mere man, and I can certainly see the value and the pull to that.  The problem for Vine and every other religious homosexual is convincing God to view his Bible from there perspective.   Changing my views is worthless.    If God doesn’t change his thinking about homosexuality, adultery, single straights bumping uglies, and all the other “immoral” acts then Vine’s book is worthless.   Vine’s book fails not because he fails to be convincing, but because no one has ever succeeded in changing God’s view of sin.   The failure of Gay Theology, Feminist Theology, Fascist Theology, and every other special theology is that true believers in Jesus Christ believe the Bible because it contains the teachings of God, and those words have powerful life altering effects in our lives.

    This post is long enough, so I hope you’ll come back for the next part of this series of posts.    So be looking for

    Lions! Tigers! and Gays!  OH MY!   Part 3.