Mike Had Big Hair & Heels, I Miss That Guy

EXIF/JPEG image with thumb

This is the house I lived in for about 18 months. I rented a couch, not a room, for $40 a week most of that time. I was there from the Spring of 1988 till the fall of 1989 and most of it was a blur.

I waited tables to earn enough money to party, partied till I was out of money, slept in someone else’s bed or on my $40 a week couch … mostly the couch, Then I would wake up in time to go back to waiting tables and repeat the cycle for a year and a half.

During that time I drank 5 out of 7 days a week, did more drugs than I ever thought I would. Especially after I pledged to never do any drugs my freshman year in high school. I was also involved in a very abusive relationship.

It was during that time I did my share of terrible things to make ends meet, to get drugs … to be a part, to appease my partner … it wasn’t just a blur … it was a dark blur.

“An Unlikely Love” by Alan & Leslie Chambers

AlanChambers.Org
April 18, 2014

The above link goes to an article by my friend Alan Chambers commemorating the third Lisa Ling interview he participated in one year ago yesterday. I loved the post, but the section I keep coming back to is this one:

…From any vantage point, Leslie and I have been marginalized. For years we have been marginalized by society for our belief that God’s creative intent for sexual expression is one man married to one woman for one lifetime. Now in our efforts to simply and wholly love and serve people, we have been marginalized by the mainstream Christian Church who once hailed our story as miraculous. We are now an embarrassment to many and I’m not always exactly sure why. Ironically, it is now the LGBT community who respect our complex story and are increasingly accepting us for who we are: unlikely friends.

As I see it, the truth God whispered to me, a gay teen sitting in a gay bar more than two decades ago, is the same truth I proclaim today, God loves me. Knowing He loves me compels me to proclaim, “He loves you!” Being secure in the fact God the Father loves and is pleased with us, believing what Jesus accomplished through living a perfect live, sacrificing himself on the cross, and rising again for everyone is enough and I will promote nothing else. …

I love Alan and Leslie. I know I love my couch too. It is a great couch. I love a lot of things and people. However, I love Alan and Leslie like family. I trust them individually as a brother and sister in Christ. I trust them as a couple to be honest with and honoring to each other, to be protective, sacrificial and servants to their family, and a safe refuge for friends. I love and trust them for that because I know they are in love with Jesus, and live in an expression of grace that is simply beautiful.

Of the three interviews, this was the only one I was completely at peace about. Not only am I a friend but for new readers of my blog, I was also the Executive Vice President of Exodus when this interview happened. Alan was my boss at the time :). As he and Leslie went to Los Angeles to do this interview… complete peace. I remember agreeing with Alan that it was worth doing because apologizing to that group, and the gay community at large, was the right thing to do. This interview, listening to these folks who had been hurt, apologizing, was the right thing to do.

We had found our listening ears and our own voice. Alan and Leslie did the right thing and I couldn’t be prouder of my friends.

So, enough of my tag-along musings :). Please read Alan’s post. There is much there worth remembering and considering.

Good Friday 2014 Meditation

good friday

Next month I will celebrate 22 years as a Christian. Each Good Friday has always carried with it a heaviness. It’s as if a melancholic air covers the Body of Christ (His church) as we remember and honor Jesus specifically for the crucifixion.

As believers, we can and should celebrate His resurrection every day. That said, many times Christians are uncomfortable with spending time thinking about the crucifixion; the specifics of the events and specifically how it applies personally. I honestly don’t blame them. It’s incredibly difficult to consider the depth of horror our Beloved, our Savior, experienced. Yet, that is what Good Friday invites us to do; remember, take it personally, and allow His love to speak to us through His sacrifice.

It’s Raining Giant Trees (Dream)

dark wood texture

First I am going to share the dream by itself. Then after that I will share what it means to me. The reason I am separating them is that sometimes dreams are like artwork, people can extract a wide variety, and all kinds of personal meaning from them. I think that is totally cool. So, please read the dream, ponder it if you want and gather your own thoughts on it. Then read my thoughts after the second section divider. :)

In my dream I am sitting on my Great Granny’s porch. The porch was built by her father, my Great Great Grandfather, by hand. However, in the dream it had been carefully preserved, modified, expanded and updated. However, I knew that it had always been lovingly maintained/remodeled by The Owner. The house was simply beautiful, warm, welcoming. It actually looked like it had been decorated by one of my best friends. It was again, beautiful.

Ask-It Basket: What Do We Do About The Easter Demon Bunny?

easter bunny

askit basketAsk-It Basket posts were popular on my old blog so I decided to bring it back for my new blog :). This week’s question is:

Why do churches have Easter egg rolls and bounce houses on the Saturday of Easter weekend? Is it okay to do that and not invite them to church or should there always be an evangelism message at the “party” or at least a flyer about church services the next day? Some people think these are secular activities and the Easter bunny shouldn’t be something the church endorses. And/Or, what can a church do to encourage people who visit on Sunday come back the next week? Is this the role of leaders, members, both?

That is a lot of Ask-its for this weeks basket so lets break it down by each question and my responses will follow.

Why do churches have Easter egg rolls and bounce houses on the Saturday of Easter weekend?

I always want to assume the best and say that they do that to be a part of the community. That sounds like a church who wishes to provide a safe and enjoyable place for kids to have Easter celebration fun. This kind of church probably would do the bouncy houses more than once a year. At least I hope that they would. If they are doing it on Easter weekend, I would imagine they are also wanting to inform the parents that they are having Easter services the next day. It only makes sense and I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be offended or surprised that a church Easter egg roll would have a church info table at the entrance. These types of activity are a fun way to meet the needs of children for community, and play, as well as let the parents get a feel for the church’s heart.

Is it okay to do that and not invite them to church or should there always be an evangelism message at the “party” or at least a flyer about church services the next day?

rthomasco_on_Instagram
Instagram Photo Of The Week: Sam Flax Mural

This is a cool mural outside of the old Sam Flax Art store in Orlando (it’s changed locations since I took this pic.) (iPhone)

A Father’s Dance, A Son’s Joy

rob jude

This kid is cute. I mean … just cute as a button. His name is Jude. He has sandy blond hair and he loves worship time.

Jude and his parents always sat up front at church because Jude loves to dance around or jump in place. Of course, as little boys are want to do, he likes to run around a bit too. Jude has also been seen with his toy guitar in tow to play along with the band on a few occasions.

I told you … the kid is cute!

The cool thing about Jude is he likes to mix it up … he’s a squirmer. Tina is very good at giving Jude some freedom but is quite the Jude wrangler sometimes. She loves her son. You can tell.

It’s Been A Gizmo Kind Of Day

gizmo

Gizmo ain’t havin’ it.

Gizmo, pictured above, was a GenX kids movie icon. See, Gizmo was a super-cool-super-cute pet as long as you did not

  • Expose him to bright lights
  • DON’T get him wet
  • WHATEVER YOU DO you DON’T feed him after midnight

If you broke those rules all kinds of Hades would be let loose when cute little Gizmo turned into one badass asexually reproducing scaly prank monster!

I know what you might be thinking but no … not Godzilla. YES Godzilla was a badass asexually reproducing NUCLEAR scaly monster. But Godzilla (90′s version) was just a sky-scraper sized hungry gender blurred symbol of humanity’s existential search for primal meaning in a modernist vs. post-modernist age; not a prankster.