Celibacy has a long, honored history in the church. We associated it with Jesus and Paul, with Mother Teresa, and with thousands of dedicated brothers and sisters serving Christ in far-flung corners of the world. But there’s a problem. Christians throughout history have affirmed that lifelong celibacy is a spiritual gift and calling, not a path that should be forced upon anyone. Yes, permanently forgoing marriage is a worthy choice for Christians who are gifted with celibacy. But it must be a choice.
—  Matthew Vines (regarding gay Christians being pressured to remain chaste)

anonymous asked:

So Theo can calm Liam down by just talking to him and being there. Like no soft touches, intimidation or physical restraint. Just him showing up and talking, hitting Liam with cold logic till he starts thinking straight again. Although Theo forcefully pinning Liam against any surface to calm him would be aMaZiNg ;T I just love his discrete way of helping his boyfriend + the way he smoothly went from 'if you kill him' to 'if wE kill him' ugh. Also Cody Christian in that tight black shirt I am out

my buddy. my anon. i feel you, my bro, cody christian is a gift upon this world. ALSO THIS IS A GREAT PROMPT AND I LOVE YOU!! :D and i absolutely love that his reaction wasn’t ‘don’t kill him’ but ‘come on did you think about this’ because it is totally theo. so yes. here we go. 

  • admittedly, liam makes for a Kind of Terrible Werewolf. even outside the full moons he has trouble keeping a lid on it, although that’s partly his human side to blame. the point is: the mantra, which works for pretty much every werewolf everywhere, is not enough. sure, sometimes it does. but sometimes, it doesn’t even come close to working.
  • theo, conversely, is the poster boy for control. (this has partly to do with the wolf/coyote split i’ve detailed in my fic but that’s neither here nor there.) if he hadn’t, you know, absolutely decimated a niche population of supernaturals, or didn’t seem so goddamn threatening every time he so much as looked in someone’s direction, it’d be easy to forget that he was a supernatural at all.
  • liam and theo balance each other. i like to think of them as a sort of yin-yang: liam as the sun, burning with the rage of a fiery star, and basically your average beautiful sunshine boy, Good and Wholesome but also about as subtle as a rampaging elephant. theo on the other hand is a lot less obvious, a sickle-claw sliver, a little wicked and a lot mysterious, more inclined to manipulate than to physically force. 
  • liam helps theo open up and enjoy himself a little, and theo helps liam calm down and keep a level head. 
  • despite theo’s mitigating force, however, liam is… basically impossible to control when he gets going. and i headcanon that theo is unlikely to be able to really get in liam’s way when he gets going: liam would just toss him aside. i think of werewolves as sort of hulk-like: their strength grows in proportion with their anger (which is partly why they’re so dangerous when feral, but i digress). 

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“Humor is a gift that Christians should be filled with. You must laugh at yourself so you are able to take your neighbors faults with a grain of salt. Give him the privilege of being imperfect - just like you, sweetheart. ”
-Mother Angelica

anonymous asked:

I was wondering how you came to the decision that God doesn't see being LGBT as a sin. I've been trying to discern what I believe God says about it, but I can't. It feels like I've been running into a wall for years. I want to believe that it's okay, but I can't seem to let myself. I don't feel like I've ever heard God say it was okay. I've seen a lot pointing to it being okay, but I've also seen a lot pointing to it being wrong. (1/2)

(2/2) And I don’t want to disobey God, but if it is wrong I know I will be angry and bitter the rest of my life. I kind of think maybe God has told me, but I don’t want His answer so I decided to ignore it. Or that God told me, but I thought it was me being hopeful and that He would never actually say I was okay so I didn’t believe it. I just wondered if you could give me any advice on this.

Hey! Thanks so much for reaching out to me. I understand how difficult this question is; it took me five years of asking questions, listening to the lived experience of others, soul searching, yelling at God, furiously highlighting my Bible, and praying to come to my conclusion. Which is, just to be transparent, that LGBTQ folks are fully included members of the body of Christ who are held to the same standards and are invited to live by a Biblically-based sexual ethic. LGBTQ folks are no different from any other Christian; they are are gifted in unique ways by the holy Spirit, struggle with unique temptations, and work for holiness and justice in their own unique ministries. 

As mentioned, my road to this answer was long and fraught, but it coalesced around three distinct events in the last year or so of my life. The first was reading God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines. I had encountered plenty of arguments for the affirmation of gay Christians before, but they always either encouraged gay Christians to live permanently celibate lives, or they held such a loose view of scripture that they disregarded every passage they didn’t like and elevated sociology and scientific research above the Bible. Now I absolutely affirm those in the church, gay or straight, who have been called to a lifetime of celibacy, and I am a big advocate of bringing current research into conversation with the Bible, but neither of these arguments were sufficient for me. God and the Gay Christian was a game changer. It’s written by a evangelical gay man who holds a very high view of both Biblical authority, and he took a year off his studies at Harvard divinity school to thoughtfully and lovingly engage Biblical witness on the subject of sexual orientation, both on a verse-by-verse and holistic basis. I read it in one sitting on a summer day in my living room, then put the book aside and said to God “Okay. I’m done fighting. I’m on board.”

The second event had been in the works for a while. It consisted of my abandoning my need to theologically police others on the minutia of issues of sexual orientation, a practice I have seen wreak unimaginable harm in and outside of the church. I had enough evidence to finally decide which side of the fence I came down on, and surrendered the rest to the Holy Spirit. If an LGBTQ person told me they loved Jesus, I decided to trust them, to trust the Holy Spirit with them, and to treat them just like any other brother or sister in Christ. The third event was my starting seminary, in which I met a number of gay, bi, trans, and nonbinary people who took the Bible and sex seriously, who were in love with God and absolutely committed to serving the church as pastors, teachers, and deacons. They erased any other hesitations I had. 

That’s my story, but turning to yours, beloved child of God, I encourage you to continue listening to the Holy Spirit through prayer and attentiveness to your own heart. The Bible is an amazing, life-giving book, but it isn’t as neat as we would like. It’s colored by the politics and context of its time, and it doesn’t pretend to be the unfailing rule of life we want it to be. You need to keep the scriptures close to you as you discern the right path; you need to engage God’s story and the person of Jesus and the Bible’s opinions on spiritual and social dimensions of sex. But ultimately, it will not make your decision for you. Neither will Matthew Vines or Tim Keller or any theologian on either side of the isle. One revelatory moment won’t make the daily choice of how you live in your body go away, and weeks or months of being confident in your spiritual choices doesn’t mean that doubt does not creep in sometimes to try and dissuade you from the truth. Repetitive nagging can be the Holy Spirit tugging our heart towards something new, but those ugly waves of guilt or self-hatred that crash in are absolutely not. 

I am so sorry you are having to have this conversation with God (and God wants to have it with you! He loves your body and your mind and created you as a sexual being with delight! She wants to guide you in how to inhabit your body fully and ethically and with joy!) in a time where human sexuality is a warzone. I’m sorry your existence has been politicized and that your presence in the church is seen as a statement rather than a cause for celebration. If there is a Bible study or church community where you feel welcome near you, root yourself there, let those people pour love into you and guide you but remember that at the end of the day, you answer only to God. Other people’s opinions are immaterial, and gender or sexuality labels, which sometimes helpful, pale in comparison to your true identity as an heir of God’s kingdom. 

P.S. Queerly Christian is THE PLACE for Biblical scholarship and community building about this issue. Give them a follow!

anonymous asked:

What do you think about spiritual gifts?

Oh I love thinking about spiritual gifts! I definitely think that spiritual gifts are for today, too. Now I don’t think that every believer should have the gift of tongues, as some believe. The gift of tongues is not a sign of salvation nor a requirement for salvation either (see 1 Corinthians 12:27-31). But I do believe that every believer has at least on spiritual gift.

I honestly think it’s important that we as believers seek to know what our spiritual gifts are. It can be quite hard to know what spiritual gifts you have but I have found that a good way to find out is to pray for God to reveal your spiritual gift(s) to you and also to ask your friends what they think your spiritual gift is. I find it easier to see what other people’s spiritual gifts are.

I believe God has given each of us at least one spiritual gift to edify the body of Christ. So it is good to pray for spiritual gifts for ourselves but also for God to show us how to use them. I find we often think some gifts are better than others but I wholeheartedly believe that we need every single spiritual gift working in our church and in our community, that we can fully glorify God.

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:6)

As far as for myself, I believe that I have the gift of exhortation, also known as the gift of encouragement. It means to strengthen and encourage the faith of other Christians, to uplift and motivate them while challenging and sometimes rebuking as well – all to strengthen their faith and their walk with the Lord.

since i missed simblreen (well, actually i just don’t want to fix the mask because it’s a little confusing and i’m lazy xD) so i made this planing to do as a gift later on december and hopefully i don’t forget about this (please remind later xD). and ill add the little square belt thingy and the little ball in 3ds max.

i still don’t know how it’s gonna be in game with the texture, but i think the mesh a little bit better than my craig shirt xD

but idk if some people would like this , so please forgive me later if you don’t like the mesh because i’m still learning xD 

it’s gonna be hard i guess. :/

Originally posted by teenwolfhowl

Hetalia- Sapphire (DenEst)

Happy very, very, very belated birthday @melveres! I’m so sorry I took 10000 years to finish something for you but I was determined to make sure you got it in the end! You are a cool peep and I admire your work so much. We are so lucky to have you and I wanted to show my appreciation!

I admit, I had struggled a bit and went through 3 fics (which is why everything took so long) before deciding to stick with drabbles. This is only one of them, more are coming! <3

This one features DenEst in a merman AU (close to 800 words). Christian is Den, Eduard is Est.

“I wanna show ya something.”

Eduard had virtually no time to react when Christian took him by the hand and together they swam through the vast ocean. Up ahead was a famous spot amongst their kind, a graveyard for sunken ships where many treasures could be found. They had come here many times together, sometimes with friends, and had found interesting items that they had never seen before. It was strictly forbidden to go to the surface and communicate with humans so these ships were like a window to an unknown world.

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If any of these gifts of mine are to be used for anything other than the glory of my Father in heaven, let them be taken from me; for these hands are but flesh and blood not worthy of their purpose. They cannot write, touch, or be lifted without the whisper of Life. Without God, I am nothing.
So, let my words be worship and let my tongue speak nothing but praise and thanksgiving. I am a vessel directed by the Ultimate Captain. I am directed by Love Himself.
—  a.k.

The talk, gift for @ibuzoo


The girl in the window is beautiful in a way that doesn’t hurt. The angel looks at her through a rainy window. The water running off the glass makes the girl look different every second and in that continued change, she looks eternal. They sigh deeply their wings are heavier now, they have allowed the rain to seep into them.

The girl is writing.

Well…she is staring into space and chewing on her pen, her delicate fingers spread on the sheet of empty paper in front of her. The angel observes her calmly almost without the thing called feeling.

He is Earth now.  His name is Ephraim. He is old and tired but the sense of duty outweighs the pain in his limbs. He crosses his arms in front of his chest and decides to see.    


The girl is still beautiful through his half-earthly eyes, there is a sheen of sweat on her brow, or there will be or there was he cannot be sure anymore. The angel looks to his left. His brother appeared with no sound, he nods and the angel goes to his knees briefly, an old greeting and lost on the thing before him. His brother is beautiful in a way that does hurt. His eyes are grey. He smells of sulphur.  

Equal part fire and equal part ice.

Eternal in a way that is offending. He is dressed in a suit that fits him snugly hiding old scars and new cuts. The scarf around his neck is old blood red.  

‘What are you doing here?’ they ask each other simultaneously both looking at the girl who has turned to her stomach now her pen in hand, one of her feet tapping against the wall of her bedroom.

‘She listens to me more when she does this.’ The thing that once was brother says evenly ‘Are you going to wait until she finishes?’

Ephraim turns his attentions back to the girl ‘They are never finished. I have a job to do.’ It comes out in a painful rasp and he allows hate in briefly it is easier than whatever feeling is trying to seep into his chest along with the rain.

‘You are going to ruin her.’  The thing that once was brother used to have a name, they used to have grey eyes and bright, bright hair they used to be called upon by those who harvest and those who slaughter animals to place food in front of their families. Especially those with the courage to look at the animal before slaughter and after. Now though, now there is just a shell of thing at least to Ephraim. The thing whose birth equalled creation at one time takes the angels hand. He can feel his brothers fingers caressing his own. They are both cold. They are both Earth now.  It is a choice.

‘Just walk away.’


‘In the beginning there was the word’ the angel says tonelessly ‘and the world was God’ The girl they are looking at is writing now there is pain in those words which means it is going to be good. She has brown eyes and flowers in her hair.

‘I think you misquoted’ the thing that was once brother squeezes Ephraim’s hand gently.  

‘It has been a while since I had time to read’ the angel answers watching, watching. There is a sense of smell now and he knows….autumn. He knows there is a task to be done and he needs to do it fast do it before he can hear blood in his ears do it before the Earth takes him too far.

‘They will change her. Her name they will change and her hair and her skin and her thoughts, the inside of her soul and the shape of her feet. They will create her in their image. They will ruin her.’

There is a pause in which the two of them look at the girl who is frowning at her manuscript now. There is a light in the room, she stands and turns the source of light towards her, illuminating her face an making it ugly and harsh. But she is smiling.

‘She will not finish that book.’

‘Stop speaking’ Ephraim says tonelessly.


They have moved closer. The rain has stopped now and they are both still watching. There is a sound of cars and Ephraim knows that somewhere a father’s car has broken down with his family in the backseat a boy with the bluest eyes and there is blood.  But he can no longer see where this event happened it could be happening now, it could be happening in twenty years. He is still standing in front of a window and he is unsure now, frowning, he has been with his brother too long held his hand too long heard his words too long. He lets go abruptly and starts walking the earth is slick with rain and there are puddles that Ephraim chooses not to avoid.

‘You had a different name’ the thing called brother now, again in his heart still always brother calls after him. Ephraim stops without turning.

‘I grew out of it’ he says because it is the truth but also because his chest is hurting now and his wings are heavy.

‘You are always changing’

‘And you never change’

‘Doesn’t it get tiring?’ they ask each other at the same time. The thing that we call angel and the one we call the other name. Two sides, one coin, one word one heart. Ephraim does not turn back.  

‘They will never know her like this, with hair in a bun and her head full of words. You will reduce her to a vessel. A mother. You will destroy her.’

‘Are you going to stop me?’

His brother shrugs Ephraim can feel it without turning, there is the air smells of leaves and the girl in the window has put on a sweater.


He opens the window and the girl looks up. She doesn’t scream, doesn’t make a sound the writing block drops to the floor but that is the only inconsistency. The angel sets himself on one knee and starts speaking.

Words like


And Mary

And Full of Grace.

Dear Future Husband..... or not

Alot of my friends do this thing where they write letters to their future husbands. Some have special little boxes where they keep all the letters they’ve been writing since 7th grade. Some even seal them with a red lipstick kiss stain. The idea is to give these letters to your husband as a wedding gift on your wedding day. It all sounds lovely and cute right? I think so. At one point I even tried to write a few (only to give up because lets face it, that’s alot of work). 

      Over the past couple long years of puberty I went through the relationship struggles every teenager goes through. The whole mystery game of who likes who. The endless nights talking with friends about our dream boyfriends, The depressing thought that I’ll never be good enough for any boy to like me. I’ve had my fair share of purity talks and relationship sermons. All this I thought was leading me up to having the perfect relationship.

       Then reality came knocking on my dream land door (completely uninvited mind you). That lovely little concept of what the church likes to call “The gift of singleness”. What if God doesn’t have that perfect 6′2, dark haired, British accented man all picked out for me? What if instead He has 12 cats and a fish tank laid out for me in the future? It’s hard to even imagine that. mostly because I don’t particularly like cats, but also because singleness has never ever been in my future plans. 

        The thing is the Bible tells us that singleness is an opportunity. An opportunity to completely focus on God and serving Him. ( 1 Corinthians 7:32-35) I have complete faith that if God does want me to get married He’ll bring the right person into my life ( and I into theirs) but I also have faith that if God wants me to never get married He’ll give me the strength and heart to be content with that. God’s will always works out for the better.  That’s why I don’t want to waste my single days fantasizing and daydreaming about boys. Writing letters to a husband I might never have. I want to give this time to the Lord and to building myself up in Him.           

At Christmastime, as we share gifts with others, we remember the generosity of God toward us - He gave His Son. Ray Stedman said, “Jesus set aside His riches and entered into His creation in a state of poverty in order to enrich us all by His grace.”

No gift-giving could ever compete with the Lord’s extravagance. We thank God for the indescribable gift of Jesus! - Anne Cetas