My great-grandfather was a dour, unloving, unforgiving Presbyterian minister who disapproved of his son marrying a Methodist girl and hinted that she had probably gotten herself pregnant because “Methodists have no morals.”

My grandfather, when walking my aunt down the aisle at her wedding, told her he’d rather have put her in her grave that day instead of marrying her to a Catholic w– [slur meaning Italians] who would breed her like livestock.

My mom once dragged 8-year-old me away from my friends while we were playing Cinderella and sat me on the couch to pray over me and cast out the demons of homosexuality that had tempted me to play the Prince instead of Cinderella (I was totally confused; I was only playing the Prince because I had the shortest hair).

Anyway, I thought those were interesting memories to float into my bisexual head as I’m lying in bed beside my bisexual bride-to-be and thinking about which Pagan and Christian elements we want to incorporate into our wedding ceremony one day.

عَنْ أَبِي، هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ لَيْسَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ يُنْجِيهِ عَمَلُهُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا وَلاَ أَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ وَلاَ أَنَا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتَغَمَّدَنِيَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُ بِمَغْفِرَةٍ وَرَحْمَةٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ابْنُ عَوْنٍ بِيَدِهِ هَكَذَا وَأَشَارَ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ ‏"‏ وَلاَ أَنَا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتَغَمَّدَنِيَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُ بِمَغْفِرَةٍ وَرَحْمَةٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏


1909 Unity Temple, Oak Park, IL and 1956 Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wauwatosa, WI. Almost half a century apart, these house of worship are very different, but also very similar. The shapes and use of balconies positions all seating close to the alter, clerestory windows make the roof appear to float and screen outside distractions, dramatic light fixtures add drama.

/rant ahead

I’m really tired of hearing, “If you’d just pray harder, you’d be healed” and “you must not have enough faith if you haven’t been healed yet.”

First of all, even if that was the case, what makes you think that phrasing it that way would ever help me in any way? Don’t you think that there is a more constructive and helpful way that this same point could be discussed and gone into?

Second, that’s not the case at all. Jesus is my everything. That’s the fact of the matter. But I was born with a heart defect. Born with it. That means it’s not going away. Not in this lifetime. And that’s something that I cannot change. Yes, I do realize that God could change it, but He has decided that a miraculous healing is simply not the way for my life to go. Without this defect, I most likely would not want to be a doctor. It’s something that has shown me God’s calling on my life and has lead me to where He has asked me to be. It’s legitimately the one thing that brought me back to God. When I was far away from Him right before surgery, my friend saw my pain and took me to church with him. Without that surgery, I’m not sure where I would be right now. It’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world because clearly, God wanted this to be my story. I don’t know why. Some days, yes, I wish I could change it. Those are the hard days. But I love my story. I love everything about it. I love my scars. I love my broken heart. My broken heart is something that was handcrafted by God for a specific purpose, and I intend to live that purpose out to the best of my ability. 

So stop telling me that it’s a faith thing. Stop telling me that I need to pray more. I’m through dwelling in the pain. I’m through with focusing on the hurt that’s in my life. I’m done with it. I’m here to look forward to the future that God has planned for me, and I’m tired of questioning why these things would happen to me. My faith is in God alone, and clearly, He wants me to use my broken heart for His kingdom, so that’s what I intend to do.

anonymous asked:

Malcolm X learned when he visited Mecca that the Nation of Islam does not follow Islam. He found that Muslims believed in the equality of all races and had none of the weird sci-fi nonsense of the NoI. He converted to actual Islam, called out the Nation of Islam for their bullshit, and said that if/when he was murdered, it was because this cult he had previously belonged to killed him. When being "woke" causes someone to support the NoI, they need to go back to sleep.


anonymous asked:

Please pray for me. I don’t want to be a Christian anymore. I can’t follow the rules and I don’t like coming to God. The only reason I’m still here is because I don’t want to go to Hell... I believe the requirements (Jesus is God and died for my sins and I am a sinner in need of a savior) but in the execution? I’m a failure and I don’t talk about my faith in the ways I feel like I should. I’m just going to get spit out anyway... I don’t know why I try anymore. I’m hopeless and broken-hearted.

PT2: where do you go if you don’t have a church? If your family are all atheists? I don’t hate them and I don’t love Jesus. I love Him for dying for me, but not for the threats and commands. I know, hypocritical… I can’t even follow the joyful command. Following God only makes me miserable. I’m bad at repenting. I’m bad at having patience. I’m bad at not cursing in my head. I know I’ve improved morally, but it feels like I’m so bad at being Christian. Sorry for venting. Thanks for listening. ❤

Can I let you in on a little secret? Being a Christian is amazingly hard. It’s decidedly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The world seems to have this idea that becoming a Christian will magically take all your problems away, but I’ve found it to be quite the opposite. For me, I’ve been a Christian as long as I can remember, but stepping out of lukewarm Christianity and into a life with God, I quickly realized that our problems are often augmented and brought to the front of our lives. This is because God wants to work within us and better us. It’s because He wants to use our stories for His glory and His work. So yeah, it takes a lot of hard work, and it’s not ever easy. Even on the “easy” days, I’d dare say that it still takes its tole. 

You know why God wants you to go to Him? It’s because He wants to restore you. His forgiveness isn’t just a passive thing. When He forgives you, He plans to restore you to the purpose He has for you. He doesn’t forgive and then just leave you to your own devices. He forgives and creates something new in you. 

I’m not sure how old you are, but my first suggestion would be to find a Christian community. Whether that means people at school, or a home church, or if you’re in college then a campus ministry, whatever that would mean for you. Find a group of people who can help you grow, people you can talk to when things get rough. God didn’t create us to be alone, He created us for community because He wants community to help us out. 

God doesn’t want you to hate anyone, even atheists. He calls us to love literally everyone because He loves everyone regardless of what they’ve done. Jesus gave us the commands that He did because He wants to help set us free. I’ve found that when I’m not following His teachings that I’m miserable. Sure, my flesh might be satisfied in the moment, but it quickly becomes apparent that after the moment, the only thing left in me is a gaping hole. A hole that only Jesus can fill. But when I’m trying my best to live the way He wants me to live, the way He has called for me to live, that’s when I’m truly happy. God’s rules aren’t meant to bring us down, they’re meant to build us up and help us live the best lives possible. He’s given us rules so that we can flourish and grow in Him. 

The thing about Christianity is that, yes, we are called to righteousness, but we are all sinners. Without God, we are nothing. But with God, we are all that we need to be. He has forgiven us, He has finished His work. We don’t have to do anything at all to earn His love and mercy and grace because He has already given it to us fully. We are called to strive toward being Christ-like, but when we fail, we are simply called to being open with God about it, to repentance, and to accept His forgiveness. God loves you more than you could ever understand. Please don’t give up on Him because He will never once give up on you.

If you’d like someone to talk to about any of this, please know that I am always here for you.

Much love and many blessings,
~Haley <3

incidentally guys tomorrow I’m going to apply for a job I’d really, really like to have because it’s three blocks down, I’ll set my own hours for the most part, it’s for the church I already have a volunteer job at and it would mean a lot of my stress levels would even out so like

good vibes would be appreciated on that front

Just know that if Allah ‎‎ﷻ is pleased with you, every single struggle you go through is worth it.
So soften your heart and be glad.
Were it not for trials and tribulations, Yusuf (AS) would have been the leader of the family, but with trails and tribulations He became the Azeez of Egypt.
Be upon certainty
That there is something awaiting you after your patience, something which will delight you and make you completely forget the bitterness of all pain.
Next time Allah ﷻ is testing you know that relief is near. Know that your Rabb wants you to get closer to Him. He afflicts you with trials because He tests those that He loves the most.
One of the greatest calamity Musa عليه السلام ever had to face was standing in front of the red sea and not having the option of turning back because fir'aun and his army were behind him.
The Qur'an mentions the Banu isra'eel despairing, saying, “Indeed, we are going to be taken.”
But Subhan’Allah. Just look at the certainty of Musa عليه السلام. He replied, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.”
Qur’an [26:61-62]
It’s something to reflect upon. When we’re faced with a calamity, we always say, “Indeed, we are going to be overtaken.” But we never say what Musa عليه السلام said.
We never say,
“Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.”
O you who feels distress and misery,
Who thinks that the world has become dark around Him, Just raise your hands to the sky, and do not say,
“How can my problems ever be solved?”
Rather, humble yourself in front of He Who Hears the footsteps of the smallest ant.
Be certain, that there is something awaiting you after your patience.
Indeed, Allah (SWT) does not trail you with anything except that there is good in it for you, even if you were certain of the opposite.
When death approached Bilaal may Allaah be pleased with him,
his wife said, “What grief!”
He radhiy Allaahu ‘anhu said,
“No! Rather what happiness;
‎غــــداً نلقــــــى الأحبـــــة
‎محمــــــــــدًا وصحبـــــــه
Tomorrow we will meet the Beloved
Muhammad ‎(ﷺ ) and his Sahabah.“
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient ones.
Qur'an - [2:153]

Turkey just banned all LGBT events in the capital
Turkey has banned all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights groups in its capital city, Ankara. The ban has been imposed to protect “public security”, the Ankara governor’s office said. The restrictions came into effect on Saturday and will last for an “indefinite” period, applying to all LGBTI film screenings, theatres, panels and exhibitions.

Turkey has banned all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights groups in its capital city, Ankara.

The ban has been imposed to protect “public security”, the Ankaragovernor’s office said.

The restrictions came into effect on Saturday and will last for an “indefinite” period, applying to all LGBTI film screenings, theatres, panels and exhibitions.

The governor’s office claimed such events may cause animosity between different groups and endanger “health and morality”, as well as the rights and freedoms of others.

It warned some groups may be provoked by LGBTI events and take action against participants due to “certain social sensitivities”.

Unlike many Muslim countries, homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey and numerous LGBTI associations are legally registered with the state. But there is widespread hostility and rights activists say LGBTI people face discrimination and stigma.

The announcement by Ankara’s government is likely to deepen concern about civil liberties under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Authorities in Ankara had already banned a German gay film festival on Wednesday, the day before it was due to start, citing public safety and terrorism risks. Organisers of Pink Life Queerfest said the ban “deprives us of our constitutional rights in the name of ‘protection’”.

Gay pride parades have been banned in Istanbul for the last two years running.

In June, 25 LGBTI rights supporters were arrested after attending a banned Pride march. They were later charged with participating in an unauthorised demonstration.

Istanbul’s local government had banned the march at the last minute on the grounds “it might lead to provocative actions and disrupt the public order”. Police in riot gear broke up the parade, firing rubber bullets at demonstrators, after organisers decided to press ahead with the event.

“Our security cannot be provided by imprisoning us behind walls, asking us to hide,” organisers said. “Our security will be provided by recognising us in the constitution, by securing justice, by equality and freedom.”

Earlier this month, Mr Erdogan accused the main opposition party of moving away from the country’s moral values after a small opposition-run district installed a quota for LGBTI candidates running for election to a neighbourhood committee.

The Turkish leader, a pious Muslim, said the pro-secular main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, would learn “the lesson they deserve” at an election in 2019.

“We have no business with those who have declared war on the people’s values,” he said.

Staccato: with each sound or note sharply detached from the others

On my knees thanking God

for a mind so mystifying like a puzzle

or winekey or corkscrew, a trio

confined to groups of two— I️ want,

I️ hunt for a love requited but you

are her coat rack, a cigarette unlighted.

I️ long for you but I️ fight it. My bones are young

but frail

I️ miss the shape of your ponytail—

please meet me at church on Sunday

morning where it is acceptable for me to

grasp your hand, praying to our Father

as our mother’s seize to understand

I️ am safe. I️ am safe. I️ am safe.

What is this religion when you are not

my choice but my only decision?