Responding To The Charge Of Apostasy

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Last week a religious activist went on a syndicated Christian radio talk-show and accused me of several acts against the church and God. Their response was a negative bias-driven summation of three posts: here, here, and here. The talk-show host agreed with him, and did not stop him when he charged me from afar to “repent of apostasy” and apologize for selling out and confusing the Body of Christ.

Neither of these folks contacted me about their charges before gossiping on a national radio program about my motivations for supporting civil gay marriage equality. As a result, I feel no need to break down the show and respond to every accusation. I obviously do not agree with their judgments or conclusions.

Party Barge & Car Surfing In Daytona Beach (Memoir)

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It was 1986. I was a senior in High School, and somehow I ended up with a group of guys at school sanding down an old short school bus. Two of them (brothers) had gotten the bus as a Spring Break present from their Dad. We gutted the thing, painted it black, and I painted, “Party Barge” on the sides. I also painted “Party Barge” on the little flip-out stop sign. It was no longer the iconic red and white flashing stop sign; it was now the solid black with gold Def Leppard-esque lettering “Party Barge” on it.

SO cool.

Surprisingly, my parents said I could go. However, like all the times before when I really wanted to do something, the night before they said I couldn’t go. They got mad because the boy’s father wanted them to sign a liability waiver for me to be in the Party Barge during spring break.

I don’t remember having a fit, but I do remember being incredibly angry. My parents relented at the last-minute (there is a lot to be written about that at a later date) and the next day the “Party Barge” crew headed to Pensacola.

Pensacola was boring. We thought MTV was there. They weren’t. However, we quickly traveled a million more miles to Daytona Beach where the MTV Spring Fest was actually happening.

It was wild.

I will never forget pulling up on the beach where there were practically naked young adults and crazy old people … EVERYWHERE! I was mesmerized.

My parents weren’t. I called them … eventually … to tell them we left Pensacola and were now in Daytona. To describe them as “not happy” is an understatement.

Visiting George At The Local Gayopolis

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Sunday, August 3rd 2014 was the first time I had been in a gay bar in over 23 years. I went right after church to go visit my friend George (a.k.a. Carmella Marcella Garcia) who I hadn’t seen in 27 years.

It was a trip.

Yes, it is a gay bar, it is the famous (infamous?) Parliament House (PH). It is known around the world from what I have been told. I have never been to it or even driven by it… until that Sunday.

Fourth of July Sushi, Prayer Request For Elbow, And Down Again This Week! (Health & Fitness Update)

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Here is today’s health and fitness update!  I appreciate those of you who read these and are supportive. I find that these weekend updates are helpful for me to do because it gives me a chance to evaluate the week and enjoy this journey a little more deeply. It’s how I roll :)

The Weight Loss Part

As of today I weighed in for Weight Watchers(WW) at 222.2. I lost another 1.6 pounds last weekThe rundown:

  • May 14, 2013: Was at 270 … total net loss to date, 47.8 pounds
  • On May 17, 2014 (Rejoined WW after stopping for three months) I weighed 238.2. Since rejoining I have lost 16 pounds

“Exodus International To Close…” – One Year After The Announcement

exodus logoOne year ago today was one of the most adrenaline filled/stressed-out days of my life. I knew that Alan Chambers was going to announce that we were closing Exodus that June 19th night. It was an incredible moment. One I will not forget. I am very proud of, and love, Alan for his intellect, bravery, and compassion.

I was the guy to hit publish on the press release and distributed it online while Alan was speaking. Definitely a personally catalytic moment in time.

Today I am not writing this to re-argue about the rightness of our decision. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was the correct decision to make. I am confident the Lord had orchestrated the entire situation; that He lead the staff, Alan, and the Board to that conclusion. I have a peace in my heart and simply know it was the right decision. I remain convinced it was for the best on many levels. I also stopped trying to convince others who disagree to agree with me. It is what it is. I’ve moved on and I hope others will too.

It’s A Gay Pride Time of Year

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Today I am seeing a lot of pictures from my gay friends on social media of various gay pride events they are attending. Gay pride events happen throughout the year but June is kind of the launch of the yearly gay pride season (please correct me if I am wrong.) Anyway, seeing all those pictures reminded me of an article I wrote on my old blog that I want to share with you again today. I hope you find it worth the read. It’s been slightly edited from its original version.

It’s A Gay Pride Time of Year

It’s that time of year again, drag queens strolling down main street, the activists groups chanting their slogans, and gogo dancers causing parade float designers nightmares (they just won’t stand still!) Then there is the other 90% of parade people like your neighbor Sarah, or cousin Bill and his partner walking along hand in hand. They commit to completing a long parade route to show solidarity with the LGBT community and/or cause represented within that sphere of influence. Common + Unity = Community. Everyone belongs to one (a community), or several (communities), because we are wired to want to be known by others and to know others.

Boop … Boop Boop … BLAM!!! (Health & Fitness Update)

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It has been a great week on the health and fitness fronts. I lost more weight than I expected, made a rather large dietary shift, and am feeling more powerful (upping my game) at the gym. I am so grateful for the folks who send along regular encouragement and inspiration! I still have quite a bit to go, but thank God, we have traveled a long way already. Yay :)!

The Weight Loss Part

As of today I weighed in for Weight Watchers (WW) at 227.6. I lost 4.2 more pounds last week! The rundown:

  • May 14, 2013: Was at 270 … total net loss to date, 42.4 pounds
  • Feb. 22, 2014: Weighed 228.4 after being on WW for six months and quitting after that weigh-in … today, now back on WW, I am down 0.8 pounds from that February weigh in.
  • May 17, 2014 (Rejoined WW ): Weighed 238.2 … in three weeks I have lost 10.6 pounds
  • Only 1.3 pounds left to lose to reach my next goal weight of 226.3. It’s not my final goal weight, just the first benchmark since restarting WW.

Last week I posted that I had lost 40 pounds… what was I thinking? I am not so great at on-the-fly math… I actually lost a net of 38.2 pounds (total) last week. This week I went past 40 pounds to a total loss of 42.4 pounds and I am so excited. :)

I am also very happy to be .8 pounds lighter than I was in February. I was kicking myself for gaining that almost ten pounds between February and May. However, that gain is now gone and then some!

#HappaRanda indeed :)

I will also probably drop that second bullet point in the rundown next week. Again, I do that rundown really to psyche myself up, but some of my bullet point friends appreciate the effort too. :)