Covert from the Storm – Response to blog post – Forgiving my branch church by Rob Scott, CS

Response below is to my blog post on 12-30-2016 – Forgiving my branch church by Rob Scott, CS – Permission granted to post from author with name withheld.

Comments can be vigorous, but respectful!

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Rob, I’ve been thinking about the issue of community help. There is a reason why the CS church does not have homeless shelters or soup kitchens. It’s because the message of the service is of most help. God, Truth, does the work — not human will. And He does it alone. He does not require human helpers to do it for Him. Think of the story of Martha and Mary — Martha was busy in the kitchen serving her guests, while Mary sat and listened. Jesus rebuked Martha for this and suggested she come and listen, too. Jesus’ healings were not of his own power or will, but divine will, through him. 

But that’s not to say the church discourages individuals from serving the community. Mrs. Eddy herself paid to have the roads in Concord paved, and often donated to charitable organizations, including medical ones. 

The quality of Christian Science should not be measured by the number of congregants in its churches. In the parable of the sower, there are 3 ways the seed gets ripped away from human minds, and only 1 way it remains to bear fruit. This suggests the true Church of Christ is a small one. In one of Mrs. Eddy’s classes — of about 20 people — she said they were enough to change the world if they were of one mind. 

I don’t know if this addresses how churches should be, but we’re not in a bad place. Yes, the concern about not having enough people or money is persistent, but that’s only animal magnetism — the suggestion that God & His resources are not enough. There are many JSH articles that cover that. 

We have to remember that God is All-in-all, and is continually governing everything and everyone. To say that CS is dying because there aren’t enough people in church is “thrusting in the laws of erring, human concepts” (SH 62:22). Church is a place for individuals to come together and share, learn from each other, and celebrate God’s goodness. And God is responsible for this.

Name withheld

12-30-2016

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Follow up to above response by Rob Scott, CS
12-31-2016; Updated 01-01-2017

“If the soft palm, upturned to a lordly salary, and architectural skill, making spire tremulous with beauty, turn the poor and the stranger from the gate, they at the same-time shut the door on progress.”

Mary Baker Eddy

(Science and Health, 142)

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Our cause demands a wider circle of means for the ends of philanthropy and charity, and better qualifications for practical purposes. The latter lack in students of Christian Science is a great hindrance to our cause and it must be met and mastered.”  This letter embodies the thought that Christian Science does not say about Christly human activity, “Yes, BUT…” It says, “Yes, and…..”

Letter from MBE to Mary Longyear  – Jan. 15, 1906

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Dear …,

I appreciate your thoughts.  The story of Mary and Martha is one of my favorite and closest to my heart.  I “get it”.  Thank you for sharing it.

To say that our churches should not do the charitable work that other churches do is a strange approach. I don’t see Mrs. Eddy saying that.

Perhaps my experience is one of the reasons why some of our branch churches are emptying out?  My experience is an example of a lack of honesty, mercy and love shown by my local branch church during my most desperate hour of need.

If church is suppose to be the structure of Truth and Love and if either is lacking by the members to the human sense would that be reflected in the attendance or lack thereof in that congregation?  The Christian Science Church should not be a country club.

You gave the perfect Sunday school answer.  I understand as that is where you are in your understanding.  I feel we can be candid with each other so I feel comfortable being direct.

For example, in a recent article on suicide prevention on JSH online, “He didn’t jump”, the author states she was on her way to church when she saw a man ready to jump off a bridge but she just couldn’t stop but prayed.  We don’t know why she couldn’t stop (time constrains, physical danger of stopping, etc.).

We know she read the next day in the paper that an “off duty police officer talked with him for a while, and the man changed his mind, moved away from the edge of the bridge, and climbed back over the railing to safety.”  Perhaps the police officer was the real angel entertained unaware.  So who really helped here?  I don’t doubt the power of prayer but so many do not take any action and as a result the CS healing is a fraction of what it was in Mrs. Eddy’s day.  Could this be an example of the religious person passing by while the good Samaritan stopped and got his hands dirty?

A different article from JSH Online compares a healing of acne to healing the massacre in Orlando by just saying No.  This happened after the author screamed in terror looking in the mirror at the acne on her face.  There were CS practitioners who said that analogy and article only embarrassed the movement.

Also you have a CS lecturer addressing a lecture on the Heroin addiction by comparing it to his healing of excessive sleppiness.  There are Christian Science teachers that would say do not speak beyond your ability and demonstration.

Perhaps some readings below could shed further light on prayer being active not passive including sometimes the person doing the prayer.  Let’s start with what out Leader (Mary Baker Eddy) had to say followed by the parable of the Good Samaritan which should offer guidance on this issue.

Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth” .

Mary Baker Edddy

(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 250)

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What would the Good Samaritan do?

(see excerpt below)

 

 

30th Oct 2016

by virginia Harris, C.S.B.

The unconditional selflessness and compassion and immediacy of the Good Samaritan has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Jesus shares the parable with his followers in the Gospel of Luke in response to a question, “Who is my neighbor?” (Evidently, the divine law “Love thy neighbor as thyself” wasn’t specific enough for the disciples.)

A traveler is attacked and left to suffer and die on a perilous road. Two religious leaders cross the road to avoid the wounded traveler in need. But a Samaritan without hesitation stops to bind the wounds and take him to a safe place to recover, saving his life. However long it takes, the Samaritan tells the innkeeper, he will pay for it.

Think about this for a moment: The two religious leaders are more concerned with “What will happen to me if I stop?,” while the Good Samaritan is compelled by “What will happen to him if I don’t stop?” The ideal neighbor, the God-inspired neighbor, is now obvious to the disciples: He that showed mercy to the stranger…without measure.

So what would the Good Samaritan do today?

Perhaps the better question is, What can you do to be a Good Samaritan? The most obvious point of the parable is that whenever you have an opportunity to help someone in need, never be guided by fear or lack, anger or hatred – or even strangeness! That is selfish, me-only emotional thinking. It is not spiritually-divine reasoning. And Christ Jesus was crystal clear: That is not the ideal neighbor.

Only the spirit of divine Love should motivate and compel you – Love supplies you with abundance of practical and healing ideas (no lack!), Love fills you with good intentions (no fear or hatred!), and Love directs positive actions (no harm!) that benefit and bless your friends, community, world.

When one’s motive begins with being a good neighbor, a contributing citizen, selflessly desiring only good for the community, the state, and the nation, this is abiding by the commandment, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” This is an effective prayer that leads and sustains good thoughts and deeds, through the election and on to expectation of good governance.

http://www.virginiaharris.com/

Finally, some more reasons why the branch churches are closing were also addressed at the last CS annual meeting in Boston and cited in my previous post. For the record, I never said Christian Science is dying (your words).

Is my branch church welcoming the Prodigal Home?

People are looking for a community that will support them in their journey.

Some people are leaving and going to other denominations because they not finding support when facing a personal challenge.

  Suzanne Riedel – Clerk of The Mother Church

(Annual Meeting of The Mother Church, 2016)

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Perhaps our branch churches could be doing more or at least practice what they preach.  If you don’t know where to start how about oneself and your own branch church by not turning away the stranger.   Perhaps learn from the good Samaritan who was from a lowly and disrespected tribe of the day.  But he was the one who stopped and helped the person who was in their most desperate hour of need because he understood.

Perhaps if you are the branch church usher then look a person in the eye and say “welcome” rather than looking down at your shoes and saying “nothing” when people enter the church.

For the record I was no stranger.  I always gave testimonies and attended regularly before the person giving me a ride passed onward and upward.  I participated in strategy meetings to drive reading room attendance and even attended a meeting by the COP of Illinois and currently support and promote his blog to this day.

A church attendee who lived just a few blocks from me never once even offered me a ride in his car after the passing of the member who had driven me to church.  Yet I took several phone calls from him in the middle of the night to help him through his desperate hour of need.

So where was the Truth and Love in that structure?  Perhaps it was there on the nights when I slept there clandestinely and stood under the dome in my underwear in awe with one of the most profound feelings of unconditional love from God that I have ever felt.

Perhaps they had their own angel entertained unaware while they all slept and then I was betrayed not by a kiss but by the pampered hypocrite and a voicemail saying leave without any offer from the congregation of  approximately 7 people on a cold, dark night.

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Mrs. Eddy was also thrown out in a thunderstorm with just her trunk and chair which was left on the front porch and they didn’t even leave the light on for her after they shut the door.

Love you Mrs. Eddy and I’ll look for you in your writings.

You can’t separate the discoverer from Christian Science.

I’ll keep the light on for you and the door open to my heart.

Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.

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Forgiving my branch church by Rob Scott, CS & Deciding to be brilliant! by Virginia Harris, CSB

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Is my branch church welcoming the Prodigal Home?

People are looking for a community that will support them in their journey.

Some people are leaving and going to other denominations because they not finding support when facing a personal challenge.

  Suzanne Riedel – Clerk of The Mother Church

(Annual Meeting of The Mother Church, 2016)

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I saw the film below with some of my students and was moved to the core.  I even clapped out loud.

I latter learned that the limbless man (Nick Vujicic) attempted suicide in real life due to rejection by his mother at the age of 10.  But he went on to become a motivational speaker traveling to over 40 countries and inspiring others.

Thus I made it into a presentation for my classes with a short reading of the content and vocabulary before viewing the film followed by questions to the class.

Perhaps it is an analogy of Jesus seeing the “perfect man” regardless of somebody’s so-called  backstory.  After all, Mary Magdalene went on to become one of the most devote followers of Christ Jesus.  Interesting that she was also the first at the tomb to see Jesus after the stone was rolled away and the first to tell the others that he had risen.

I was cautioned for poking fun at the so-called “good Sunday school students” (their words & my mother’s words) who felt they didn’t need this message or have to learn their lessons through trials and tribulations.  My response to you is “ok”.  Then you already have it.  But some of us couldn’t learn these lessons in our Father’s house.  Perhaps the ones that were suppose to hear these messages did and they will kick in when they need too.

This is for the lost sheep or to welcome home the Prodigal Son or for the young man who was turned away from his own branch church on a cold, dark night without even a crib for a bed.  Perhaps the man needed shelter because he took care of another student of CS all summer and literary held his hand as he passed away while his home fell into foreclosure.  Perhaps he left a luImage result for christian science churches - columnscrative job because “honesty levels wealth” (Mary Baker Eddy).

But he found his way through prayer with divine Love as his shepherd and went on to help others after literally living at his branch church for one week before the pampered hypocrite turned him in and he was left only a voice mail to leave.

Interesting that it was after the reader on a Wednesday night asked: “Who would we be if we turned the stranger away?”

Special thanks to the angel entertained unaware who let me in the back door to sleep at night and use the slop sink to wash.  He shared a similar story of being in desperate need and another angel took him to the salvation army for shelter.  He understood because he had been there too.  Thank you from the deepest part of me.  You also stated this act of kindness should be what church is all about but it’s not after seeing how they treated me when I had nothing to the human sense.

After all, Mrs. Eddy was in frequent need of a home and ridiculed for her beliefs before she became one of the greatest benefactors of all time.

Perhaps this supports the concerns shared above at the 2016 Annual Meeting of The Mother Church as to why our branch churches are closing.  Perhaps the spirit got lost in the letter along the way as Mrs. Eddy forewarned.

Jesus “church” happened on a mountainside, a marketplace, or in someone’s home. “When people talk of church today, it’s often in reference to a physical structure,” writes Ethel Baker in this Sentinel’s cover story. “But to Jesus,” she adds, “church hinged on one thing: the ever-present Christ, the truth and spirit of God and His creation” (From the January 17, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel).

This branch church, built for 800, is now down to 8 on a Wednesday night.  Or is it 6 now that one member passed on and I moved away?  It is beautiful with stained class and columns and a big dome above the seating area.  I never felt closer to God then when I walked under it late at night in my underwear.  I just felt unconditional love like I never have felt before.

Finally,  one member whose branch church closed summed it all up at the 2014 Midwest Church alive: Our branch church closed because we focused on us and not our community.

I write this not to attack, blame or accuse but to expose the ignorance and error under the light of wisdom and Love in order to bring about change.  I say this at the deepest level of humility for the cause of a better movement and as an ambassador not as an activist.

One student of Christian Science whom I shared this with replied:

I can’t say more as I wasn’t there, feeling what you have felt. But it feels raw and honest and at the same time very much supported by Christian Science thought and brings out the positive light of your own understanding, growth, gratitude, and healing as well.

And another student of Christian Science stated: They deserted Jesus too.

Amen.

Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.

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Video – At the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus discovers a man without limbs being exploited at a carnival sideshow, but after an intriguing encounter with the showman he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.

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28th Dec 2016

“Today is waiting, what is it going to be? Basic or brilliant?”

This was my hotel wakeup call on a recent trip. It got me up, for sure, and got me thinking! Who decides to be “just basic” in any given day? And yet, if there is no conscious decision to be productive or even hopeful in a day, it can be easy to slip into “basic” mode – just to get through the day. Better, I think, to decide to be brilliant!

So what does it take to be brilliant – to shine through a day?

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Often the day gets going when you start scrolling through the list of “Things I Have To Do Today,” followed closely by “What is going to happen to me today?” – and a temptation to get anxious.

How about another approach: consider for a moment “What can I give today?” Because from the reservoir of your divine nature – who you really are – there springs a steady and ready flow of spiritual goodness bubbling to be shared!

Here may be a better list to start your day, a simple meditation or prayer as your first thoughts, coming from an unlimited supply of your inherent spiritual qualities:

  • I can give kindness today…
  • I can give care
  • I can give respect
  • I can give thanks
  • I can give a smile
  • I can give hope and comfort
  • I can give generously and unconditionally
  • I can be BRILLIANT!

The List of Things To Do is a pretty basic list that is likely to drain your energy before you even get started with your day. But the List of Giving is a kind of prayer that aligns your motive to live and act unselfishly and inseparably from the divine Love that guides you. It’s a recognition and affirmation of the spiritual love of Love that is in your consciousness and compels you to give to your neighbor.

Here’s a bonus: with giving as your priority, the checklist of things that must be done today will be done and fulfilled…brilliantly!

Beginning your day with a selfless prayer will restore your spiritual energy to a brilliant shine, and have you bounding into the day. Come to think of it, this sounds like a great way – a brilliant way – to begin a new year.

http://www.virginiaharris.com/

For further reading on Humility &forgiveness:

http://www.csillinois.com/2016/12/22/deck-the-halls-with-love-and-forgiveness/

http://thirdchurchnyc.com/christmas-eve-inspirational-event/

The only way up! A SATURDAY THOUGHT (AND CHRISTMAS EVE LECTURE NEWS)

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The Triumphs, Talent & Private Pain of George Michael + Antidote to Drug Addiction with The Christian Science Journal.

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“I wanted to be loved” 

George Michael

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Michael battled depression after losing both his mother, Lesley Angold, and his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, within a few years of each other. Feleppa died from an AIDS-related illness. “I struggled with huge depression after my mother died,” he told The Independent. “Losing your mother and your lover in the space of three years is a tough one.”

In a 2005 interview with The Guardian, Michael opened up about the “12 years of depression and fear and lots of other s—” that followed his devastating losses. Said the star: “In terms of coming close to saying I don’t want to live, that would have been after my mum died. I had this overwhelming feeling that the best was behind me. I so loved my mum, and respected her. I swear to God, it was like I had a curse on me. I couldn’t believe how much God was piling on at once. There was so much death around me, I can’t tell you.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/entertainment/topnews/drugs-depression-and-multiple-arrests-inside-george-michael%e2%80%99s-difficult-life/ar-BBxz7ne

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“Throughout the years, George experimented with drugs, and he did like to party, but I never saw him do it in public. His personal demons were done in private. He wasn’t one of these artists that doesn’t care about you and doesn’t care about the other people in the room… whatever was his burden, he did it in private. He did it away from people. He didn’t want to put it on them.”

George Michael’s longtime friend and Sirius XM DJ Richard Blade

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He admitted to the publication that he was smoking crack cocaine at the time of his 2008 arrest, in which he was charged with drug possession.

People.com

Posted on December 27, 2016 at 2:55pm EST

George Michael’s Drug Use in His Own Words: I’ve Smoked Crack Cocaine

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In America, we still view addicts as the other: those on the streets huddled in alleyways or doorways, unkempt, uncouth, possibly dangerous. We walk around them, averting our eyes. Or we follow their antics on TMZ— Paris Hilton and Charlie Sheen, the brunt of jokes about their attempts at recovery followed by relapse. [Cory] Monteith was a fresh faced, clean-cut heartthrob. When he died, a radio interviewer called and asked me to explain what happened. He was so normal even in his drug addiction, a condition he shared with 23 million Americans.

… but by whitewashing addiction, the producers are failing its audience of young people, the group most vulnerable to overdose. A tribute replete with sad songs will make the audience cry, but it could also wind up romanticizing the star’s death. So while … fans grieve the loss of their idol, it won’t help them to understand why they would never want to be like him. This is a disease that needs to be shown with such ugliness that even a face as beautiful as Monteith’s will make the millions of young people who watch the show recoil in horror.

 Time Magazine

By David Sheff

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/07/will-glees-tribute-to-cory-monteith-romanticize-addiction/#ixzz2hL4OejWO

 

The antidote is the understanding that we are all at one with our infinite divine source. That gives us all the joy and peace we could possibly want. But I think society still hasn’t grasped these ideas widely enough. In the long term, and even the short term, individuals who have been healed of using drugs have had a deeper insight into who they are. These people were able to give up drugs through the realization at some level that they were not separate and alone, that God was with them and loved them. I’m not sure they would put it in those terms, although some do. But I think a sense of being loved really does make the difference.

“The First Drug Czar Speaks”

with contributions from Egil “Bud” Krogh

(Drug Spokesperson under Nixon Administration)

From the October 2002 issue of The Christian Science Journal

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Video – George Michael, Elton John – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Live) – R.I.P – George Michael is a well loved man who will be dearly missed as he fought to overcome his personal demons.  Peace and love to his family, friends and fans. Gone to soon.

 

George Michael’s secret acts of extraordinary generosity revealed after his death – they’re bringing fans to tears

People are now sharing the stories he humbly asked them to keep quiet

Fans of singer and 80s pop icon George Michael woke to the devastating news this morning that he has died over the Christmas period – and are now sharing his extraordinary stories.

The star’s publicist made a statement at 11pm on Christmas Day, revealing that he had passed away “peacefully at home” aged just 53.

1. Anonymously donated £15k for a woman’s IVF treatment

Among them was the incredible tale from Pointless presenter Richard Osman that the star had anonymously donated £15,000 to a woman who couldn’t afford IVF.

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2. Donated £25k to a stranger in debt

Replying to Richard Osman’s story, one person said George Michael had once been seen in a cafe helping out a stranger who was crying because she was in debt.

Not wanting her to know he was helping, he gave the waitress a cheque for £25,000 to give to her after he left.

3. Secretly volunteered at homeless shelter

It has also emerged that George Michael was anonymously volunteering at a homeless shelter, and had asked other volunteers to keep it a secret.

George Michael donated millions to charity in his lifetime (Photo: Rex Features)

One revealed it after his death to show what a true philanthropist the man was.

4. Anonymously donated millions to Childline

Childline’s founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen told the Press Association: “For years now he has been the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline, but he was determined not to make his generosity public so no-one outside the charity knew how much he gave to the nation’s most vulnerable children.

“Over the years he gave us millions and we were planning next year, as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations to create, we hoped, a big concert in tribute to him – to his artistry, to his wonderful musicality but also to thank him for the 100s of 1,000s of children he helped through supporting Childline.”

5. Kept small charities afloat

One woman tweeted to say she had once spoken to someone from a charity who said they were “only afloat” because of George Michael.

6. Supported NHS nurses

In 2006, George held a special free concert for NHS nurses to attend in north London.

He announced he would be hosting the event as a special thank you to the nurses who had cared for his late mother.

George Michael Singer at the Nelson Mandela Concert in 1988 (Photo: Daily Mirror)

At the time, nurses who attended spoke to the BBC about how it made them feel.

Susan Steadman said: “He made all of us feel special. People do say thank you, but for George to say it publicly feels good.”

Ranjani Kendrick said: “I had the time of my life. It was such a vibrant atmosphere. I thank George Michael for making us feel appreciated.

“We all were so touched by the comments he made. I am glad the work we do has not gone unnoticed.”

He’s since given free seats away to NHS nurses at other concerts.

7. Tipped barmaid £5k

Writer Sali Hughes revealed today that the anonymous celebrity she talked about in one of her pieces was actually George Michael.

She revealed how he had tipped a barmaid £5,000 because she was a student nurse and she was in debt.

8. Sent hundreds of kids to Lapland

After reading this article, Sue Clark from Sunderland got in touch to tell Mirror Online how George Michael paid for her to go to Lapland with her family 20 years ago.

He also reportedly paid for hundreds of other children to go on the trip.

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Many are sharing their stories of George Michael following his death.

Sue told Mirror Online: “He didn’t want anyone to know or any publicity. An extremely kind man.

“Thanks, George, for the wonderful memories of Lapland. You will be remembered for your kindness and thoughtfulness as well as your music.”

9. Donated his royalties

George Michael donated all the royalties from his 1996 number one single Jesus To a Child to charity.

He performed on Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas.

George performed on the charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Photo: Getty)

Michael also donated the royalties from Last Christmas/Everything She Wants to Ethiopian famine relief, and proceeds from Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me went to Aids hospice London Lighthouse and the Rainbow Trust children’s charity.

10. Saved John Lennon’s piano

In the year 2000, George Michael bought John Lennon’s piano – on which he composed ‘Imagine’ – for £1.45million from a private collector, vowing to keep it in the UK.

He then donated it to the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool so that it could be kept in Lennon’s hometown forever.

Fans are marvelling at how he kept all of these acts of kindness quiet during his lifetime.

Some are being brought to tears, while others are expressing that it’s a mark of the man he was.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/george-michaels-secret-acts-extraordinary-9515002

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Dad, You Are My Role Model. I Love You More Than You Can Know, Ryan Robertson. Gone Too Soon – A Heart Breaking Letter on Love, loss and Forgiveness through Grace.

 

You are beautiful, strong, powerful. I want more from you. Take your place. I want every single one of you, young man, young woman, turn to the next person standing alongside of you. Grab them and hug them and tell them that you love ’em. Tell them, ‘If you need anything, come to me.’ ‘If you need somebody to talk to, come to me.’ ‘I’ll give you the shoulder, I’ll give you the hug. I’ll feed you, I’ll clothe you if you need it. That’s how you start from this moment. When you leave this reunion today, you take that with you.

Tyler Perry’s -Madea’s Family Reunion

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In my conversation class I asked everyone to give a presentation on their favorite superhero because they all seemed passionate about superheros’ as they discussed all the new movies out about them. But what moved me to the core was when each one of them asked me if they could talk about a parent and three people even picked Jesus as their superhero.

One girl chose Jesus because she had a father who was a minister and she found her way out of depression by reading the Bible in English. I got to meet him after class one day and shake his hand. Thank God that she passed my class with a high score due to her extra reading of the Bible in English.  Yet we avoided getting to a class discussion on religion.

Another woman shared how her father worked from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM six days a week to support their family with two jobs. He stressed the importance of education with his children. This student, who is much older than the others, shared that her son recently graduated from Harvard University with a Phd. Sadly, her father passed on at the age of 56 and her only brother died shortly after from a car accident. But her father’s dream of education for her came true and and it effected future generations too. I will always remember when she came to pick up her diploma and she grabbed and hugged me. She was full of such love and grace. The love of family is one of my greatest lessons learned here in Mexico.

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Maya Angelou – In And Out Of Time

This is one of my favorite Maya poems and it was featured in the Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion. Watch as it is as it under two minutes and the message from Maya Angelou’s poetry of love shines through.

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Just Because He Breathes

Learning to Truly Love our Gay Son…

by Linda Robertson

Grace

One of the best gifts about the ten months we had with Ryan before his death was the time we were given to ask forgiveness for the things we had not understood, the things we had said that were hurtful and the ways we had communicated less than unconditional love for Ryan in the years right after he had come out to us. We had done some of that work in family counseling before he started using, but what a gift it was to be able to tell Ryan much more fully all that God had taught us while he was missing.

And Ryan had so much grace for us. When we are lacking grace for ourselves, all we have to do is to remember that Ryan himself had forgiven us, not only in his words and actions, but in a letter he wrote to Rob on Father’s Day, 2009…only 9 days before we got the call from Harborview Medical Center that changed our lives forever.

Dad,

I’m SO proud to be able to say that you are my father, and I always have been. When I was little you were my hero. When we had our differences, the pain I felt reflected the depth of my love for you. When we were estranged from each other, I still bragged about my dad, the firefighter.

I don’t know how it is possible, but today, I am more proud to be your son than ever before. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have the rare quality of relationship that I have with you. Things have definitely changed now that I am an adult, and the respect which you have shown me upon that transition is almost uncanny, but it is love in its truest form. I feel I should, in turn, show you a gesture of respect, from the bottom of my heart, due to realizations upon my maturations.

In my mind, it would be a great shame to let you say you have come up short as a father. You are the best damn Father that I know of, and I can guarantee that 99% of the human population would have miserably failed if they tried to walk in your shoes. The responsibility that you have carried in our family has been enormous, and I am at a loss to understand how you are still standing. Well, I do know…it is because of your faith in God.

You have shown me again and again what it means to be a real man. To love unconditionally, to treat people with dignity and respect, to persevere through seemingly insurmountable tasks, to protect those dear to you, to stand up for your beliefs, to do the right thing even when others disagree, to give your best in everything you do and to trust God above all else. You have always loved me deeply, and have done what you thought was best for me. How could that ever have been a mistake?

Dad, you are my role model. I love you more than you can know.

– Ryan
June 21, 2009

Definition of GRACE

Ryan lived grace. He had received grace. He gave grace. He oozed grace. And this letter is a great example of that. We miss you, our beautiful, beautiful boy. 

 https://justbecausehebreathes.com/2013/06/25/grace-2/

Forgiveness, Letting Go(d) and the Grace to Move Forward by Rob Scott, CS

 

Rob…the timing of reading YOUR story couldn’t have been more perfect for me. Just got off the phone with a reporter asking what we thought of reparative therapy, and I told her JUST what you said…I could have copied your words. Thank you for sharing…you’ve encouraged me GREATLY to continue to speak up…even when others don’t like it.

Linda Robertson

To Post author – Rob Scott

August 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

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Rob, The Church must atone for its sin to people of color (1926-1955) as well as its ongoing sin of exclusion and discrimination toward the LGBT community and read seriously what Mrs. Eddy wrote about the essence of identity, and what Jesus pointed toward in Matthew 19:12 that social and gender conditions are things we should observe but not judge. If we apologize not for our past and present “hardness of heart” any article lacks meaning.

… CS Practitioner

July 13, 2016

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…. when repressed homosexuality reared its head after I had Class Instruction, there was no one in my Father’s House to take up the slack or meet the need. But Life has a way anyway! My teacher could not make gay go away! I spent a lot of time beating up on myself.  I was saddled with a lot of false teaching and false human opinion about gayness… We all have experienced dramatic rejections and out castings.  We all have tried opening up only to be “spewn out dispassionately”.  
Name Withheld
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A re-share by Rob Scott 

August 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

 

Linda,

I wanted to thank you for sharing your story with everyone to prevent this from happening again to other LGBT children.

As a gay man I can tell you the greatest burden I faced was family and religious rejection throughout my life. I have made peace with God but have no contact with my family today and have not for years. I can tell you the result has taken a toll on my mental health as I have faced despair, addiction, and even a suicide attempt in college.

I had to listen to the person whom I loved more than anything in the world (my mother) ridicule gay people or anyone she perceived to be gay during my developmental years in high school. I was terrified she would find out I was gay and I had to suffer in silence.

Later, as I struggled with God, I felt I had to throw my sexuality in the garbage can as there was no room to be gay and be loved by God as the messages supporting this are everywhere. What was the result of this thinking on me??? It literally threw me into alcohol and sex addiction. The thought was I’ll just have sex one last time and then never do it again and devote my life to God. This thought fueled my addiction. Why??? Because like your son Ryan I loved God the most. And I felt unworthy of being loved by God for being gay. The alcohol helped temporarily with the guilt and shame. But being gay never went away. I was slowly destroying myself for something I could not change. Like Ryan some bad things happened to me during the height of addiction. I’ll bet these destructive thoughts that were in my head were the exact thoughts that fueled your sons addiction and countless others who are going through the same thing.

As the Chair of the Department of psychiatry once told me “we don’t have a pill for Hope”. I responded that faith and spirituality is Hope that is alive and healing. But not for so many LGBT people for the eaxct reason it threw your son and myself into addiction. God is perfect but those preaching in His name are not so perfect.

No, I don’t condemn you. I forgive you and hope you forgive yourself. You are so much more powerful being a force for good by sharing your story and the numerous articles telling parents to love their gay children. I hope to God they are listening.

It is my turn to forgive my mother and the people hiding behind the symbol of a cross. But most of all I need to forgive myself.

Ohhhh. If I just could do over again with what I know now and love myself regardless of being gay and know that God loves me unconditionally it would have saved me so much heart ache and pain. Perhaps I can join you in sharing these stories so that those coming behind us are spared the wake of destruction that family and religious rejection leaves behind on LGBT children and adults.

One thing I have found that is healing in all this is to blog not only to share our stories to save lives but perhaps to share ideas that are comforting and healing to those left out in the darkness so they can find their way out through unconditional love from God and family.

This is for all those who never had a voice. This is for all those suffering in silence. “To all the gay kids out there – You are beautiful creatures of value and God does love you”. (Dustin Lance Black 2009 Ocar Speech)

We are on the right side of history and love is ever with us.

Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL mankind.

Rob Scott
Chicago, IL

Note – First photo below – Hope vs Despair

Which one wins?

The Second photo below- The one you feed.

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Image result for sobriety

Carl Welz, CSB & Kodak’s Short Film (Video) About ‘Understanding’ Will Take Your Breath Away

 

Several articles and editorials have been written explaining why homosexuals cannot be admitted to membership.  One of these I wrote myself, the title: “Homosexuality Can Be Healed.”  All I can say in defense of myself for writing it is that it was based on information I thought was authentic, but which later was disproved by further studies.  If I were to write another article on the subject now, I would probably entitle it, “We’re ALL God’s Children.”

by Carl J. Welz,  C.S.B.

Houston, TX – October 11, 1986

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rob4I worked on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign in 2015 to raise money for the Equality Act presently before Congress.  This would prohibit discrimination of LGBT people in housing, education and employment in 36 states where there is no protection.

One woman shared how her friend/relative had a gay son who was ostracized from the family for being gay and went on to die of AIDS at age 26.  I stated perhaps he died of famished affections due to a lack of acceptance from his family and church.  But she shared that she has a gay son but loves him unconditionally and makes sure he knows God loves him unconditionally too.  This has made all the difference as her son is happy, healthy and well adjusted.  

Perhaps somebody will go to the Christian Science Headquarters in Boston and confront that institution, protesting condemnations of homosexuality in the periodicals which are harmful to those struggling with their sexuality.  Or perhaps somebody could write a positive article on marriage equality to keep the periodicals abreast of the times.

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WOW….I wished my dad accepted me, but, he never did. My hope is that every dad in this world who happens to have a LGTB son or daughter to accept and love his or her son unconditionally.

Jose Luis Ortiz ·

Instructor  University of Virginia

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I was kicked out of school in 1983 for being gay , and prior to that; two years of Christian counseling in Appleton, Wisconsin … this film has touched a spot I thought so long ago had turned to stone.
Michael Bates
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Please be brave and share this video with anyone you may know who is either struggling with coming out, having a difficult time accepting their LGBT son or daughter or someone who is anti-LGBT.
James William
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Please print your comments from the woman who shared the information about her son and relative while you worked on behalf of HRC.  People need to hear that message more often so that they love their children unconditionally.  
Former employee of TMC & The Christian Science Monitor
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Christian Science practitioners with whom I have discussed homosexuality have called it everything from a disease to a tragedy to a moral lapse.  Other practitioners, none being ‘official’ voices of the church –especially younger members–have a more modern view.  In this, Christian Scientists mirror the range of attitudes in American Society, which recently has evolved from disapproval to acceptance of members of the gay community and concern for their civil rights. . . .

The Christian Science Monitor: An Evolving Experiment in Journalism.

by Linda K. Fuller

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We tell our story to anyone who will listen for one reason only: We are trying, in our own small way, to do something right. By exposing our own grave errors, we pray that others will learn from us and treat their own children differently. We pray that it won’t take them six long years and losing their child to drugs and the streets in order to wake them up to the truth that every parent must love their children without any condition. Our children learn to love themselves through the love that we have for them. And a child who is told “I love you, but I do not love your sin” does not hear love. He does not learn to love himself or that God loves him. Ryan did not. None of the thousands of gay children who have written to me has heard love through those words. None.

 Linda Robertson

 JustBecauseHeBreathes.com.

 
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Kodak’s Short Film About ‘Understanding’ Will Take Your Breath Away

Somehow they perfectly captured the terror of coming out and the power of love in under three minutes.

23/12/2016 3:34 PM CST | Actualizado 23/12/2016 3:34 PM CST
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Noah Michelson Editorial Director, The Huffington Post 

This week Kodak quietly released a short film (seemingly to promote its Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 film) that is nothing short of stunning.

In the film, which is titled “Understanding” and runs just under three minutes, a teen is caught by his little sister kissing his high school baseball teammate. What happens next involves the terror of coming out, the strength of family and the beauty of love.

Just try and watch “Understanding,” directed by Terry Rayment with cinematography by Kate Arizmendi, without breaking down into a puddle of tears and emotions. We dare you.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.mx/entry/kodak-understanding-film_us_585d90c7e4b0eb58648662e7

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Christmas Testimonies from Oaxaca, Tony Lobl’s Christmas Eve Talk Live From NYC & Pentatonix

The Joys of Christmas

 

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by Rob Scott, CS

December 24, 2016

I had a student share what turned out to be an inspiring story with me.  He was in a car accident a few years ago and the doctors told his parents that he would not live.  He was in a coma for one month.

Prior to the accident my student stated he was involved in unhealthy activities.  He was heading down the wrong path chasing after the false landmarks.

But after the accident he left all that behind and went on to become a nurse  helping other people.

The icing on the cake is when he introduced me to his family.  He has a young son and another baby on the way.  I felt such love and purity in the eyes of his wife as she greeted me with a smile.

This moment was surreal because if he had not lived none of his family would have existed.  And if the accident did not occur he would be on the same tired, old path to nowhere.  I was truly happy for him and his family.

Later, in private, I asked this student if he could go back in time and erase that fateful day of the car accident would he want that.  But if he did then he would be back on the same old path chasing the false landmarks.

He responded no.  He would let the accident happen because that is what changed his life for the better.  But he also shared that he is saddened by how much pain the accident caused his parents.

I know that Christian Science is based on Jesus’ healing ministry which showed sickness or accidents are not the will of an all-loving God.

So perhaps this was an example of serendipity because after the coma he saw how sacred life is and now visits his mother everyday.  He always would shake my hand before and after leaving class.  He was eager to learn and very smart.  I saw a glow around him of peace and goodness.  He even asked me how to say extra things in English that he could teach his son.  He even wrote them down.

I am grateful to have crossed paths with him.  Imagine all that went on before for the both of us to be in that classroom at that moment in time discussing healing.

Another student who attended this class was a mom working a full time job, going to school and raising two children.  I understood her hardship and told her I would stay after class and help her with grammar if needed.  She grabbed me and hugged me after our last class.

Finally, another student from this class pulled me aside and told me he almost quit the first week of class because of my native American accent.  But he didn’t give up and stated that is what helped him grow the most.  I talked with him about hope and to never, never give up.  Hope is active and showing up for the hard work.  Hope is a belief and expectation that you can do it!  He demonstrated this and went on to pass the class.- See Photo Below

May God bless us all and the people we serve.

And for those wishing for some spiritual ideas to focus on tonight, here’s a reminder of Tony Lobl’s webcast Christmas Eve talk, accompanied by music appropriate for the occasion (music 6:45pm, talk 7:30pm, live in NYC = 11:45pm and 12:30am GMT). Click on link below for further information.

Christmas greetings (and Christmas Eve event reminder!)

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Christmas Special – 8 Tiny Christmas Gifts That Will Make You Happier.

Thank you, teacher.  You taught us about life as well as the English language.

Student

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We had a discussion on the 8 tiny habits of happiness (see article below) with my conversation class.  After reading and discussing the article the class was asked to share which one of the habits was their strength and which one they needed to work on the most.  The overwhelming majority chose forgiveness (see below #4) as an opportunity needed for growth.  Most stated: Teacher, forgiveness is so hard to do.  How do you even define it?

Those who were struggling with forgiveness in their own life (myself included) asked if somebody could choose their topic of discussion on forgiveness to present to the class.  But the person who volunteered backed out.  So I showed the Oprah video (below) and it helped the class.  They realized it is something you do for yourself and it is not saying that what happened to you is in anyway ok.

You let go and live on to free yourself.  And the worse the situation is that happened to you the more important it is to forgive or that venom only destroys yourself.  Oprah gives some very serious examples of forgiveness in her video.   And forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to go back into a harmful or toxic environment or family.

Next, Respect (see below #3) was one listed by the class as their strength and can best be compared to the golden rule.  On the side of the mountain, where our class terrace faces, it says: The respect of others is peace by Benito Juárez in Spanish (see photo below). The class agreed if the world lived by this rule then there would be no war.

Perhaps the United States could learn a lesson here rather than focusing on “a crude sense of nationalism, tribalism or ethnic identity that is built around an Us vs Them” (President Obama). But you did it to yourselves (United States) by voting for Donald Trump. His campaign was “fueled by attacks on Mexican-Americans, racism, bigotry, attacks on woman, attacks on Latinos, attacks on Muslims and even the disabled. Think about what this means to America” (Elizabeth Warren – U.S. Senator for Massachusetts).

nasty

Finally, Michael Moore best summed it up by stating: “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest f**k you ever recorded in American history.”

God bless America and forgive those who know not what they’ve done.

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Video – Oprah’s Life Class on Forgiveness

8 Tiny Habits That Will Make You Happier

Sometimes the tiniest habits make the biggest difference.

INC.COM

By Lolly Daskal – President and CEO, Lead From Within

Everything around us is changing at warp speed, it seems–but some things will always remain the same. That’s why habits are so powerful. Some of the smallest of our daily habits have the power to always give us happiness and help steer us toward success.

Here are eight little habits that can make a big difference in your life and work:

 

1. Early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise. Numerous studies have linked early rising with success. An early morning wake-up carries benefits that include better planning and anticipation of problems, and more time to exercise, pray or meditate, and do the things that make you happy. Waking up an hour early pays off far more than it takes away.

2. Happiness comes to those who are curious. There is no stage in life when we can’t be learning something valuable. As long as you live, there will be something to learn, and as long as you follow your heart and your passions, you won’t miss out on learning. The tiny habit of being open to learning means you will always benefit, because life will never stop teaching.

3. Be the most respectful person you know. Respect is both given and earned through the habit of having reverence for people–listening to them, acknowledging their feelings, and treating them with high regard. The tiny habit of respect means you need to treat everyone with kindness. When you do, you are creating your own happiness.

4. Forgiveness takes you one step closer to your happiness. Make a habit of not holding grudges. They do nothing but weigh you down and infringe on your own happiness and success. Begin by forgiving yourself–an act that will allow you to take risks and accomplish great things. Then, exercise your empathy and compassion in forgiving others.

5. Achievement of integrity is the purpose of your life. Great men and women are not extraordinary superhumans, but ordinary people doing ordinary things with integrity. Integrity means honesty and fairness and doing what is right, even when it’s hard. When you make integrity a habit, nothing else matters.

6. The groundwork of all happiness is health. How you take care of yourself will make an enormous difference in the quality of your life. The tiny habits of caring for your body and spirit will give you the energy and stamina to tackle your goals and tasks–plus boost your overall well-being.

7.Believe in yourself and all that you are. Nothing will ever make you happier than having confidence in yourself. Confidence is the key to success–the thing that lets you look at the past without regret, stay grounded in the present, and prepare for the future without fear.

8. A day well spent gets you a good night sleep. Get enough sleep! It makes you feel healthier and happier, and it goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing exhaustion. Adequate sleep is a key part of your health and inner happiness. When you sleep better, you can live better and find more happiness.

It doesn’t take a huge effort to make a significant change in your life–just one or two tiny habits may be all you need. Get started today and you’ll soon be experiencing the rewards.

http://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/8-tiny-habits-that-will-make-you-happier.html

To read more on forgiveness visit the site below:

http://www.csillinois.com/2016/12/22/deck-the-halls-with-love-and-forgiveness/

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Praying For An Emergency; Protecting Homeless LGBT Youth

 

The gift of hope passes from hand to hand, like a baton.  We’re all in this together.  Meeting the needs of others is humbling.  And I think Albert Einstein had it right when he said, ‘The only life worth living is a life lived in service to others.’  May God bless you, and the people we serve.  

             With all my love,

Danielle Steel

 A Gift of Hope

Note – For eleven years, Danielle Steel took to the streets with a small team to help the homeless of San Francisco. She worked anonymously, visiting the “cribs” of the city’s most vulnerable citizens under cover of darkness, distributing food, clothing, bedding, tools, and toiletries. She sought no publicity for her efforts and remained anonymous throughout. Now she is speaking to bring attention to their plight.

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The things you take for granted someone else is praying for.

                Author Unknown

 

Published on Mar 2, 2016

This is a student film made made by high school juniors and it’s purpose is to put a spotlight on the LGBT Homeless Youth. We hope that this film inspires you to make a difference within your community. If you would like to donate to the LA LGBT Center here’s a link : http://www.lalgbtcenter.org/donate_main

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Preparing For An Emergency; Protecting Homeless LGBT Youth During The Trump Presidency
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12/21/2016 02:57 pm ET
Carl Siciliano – Executive Director, Ali Forney Center
THE BLOG – Huff Post

 

The living conditions for homeless LGBT youth were deplorable before President Trump. Right now, at the end of Obama’s presidency, most homeless LGBT youths have nowhere safe to call home. In the USA there are fewer than 500 shelter beds dedicated to a homeless LGBT youth population that is estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands.

Numbers can seem cold and unfeeling compared to reality. Homeless kids with nowhere to stay are cold too, but they definitely feel it.

In the real world, when there are not nearly enough beds for homeless kids, you see desperate stuff. LGBT young people come to the Ali Forney Center after having survived in some desperate conditions. It is a hard to listen to a teenager tell you about sleeping in unheated abandoned buildings, in forests, in subways, on rooftops, in pay toilets.

It is hard to listen to them describe the hardship of being out in the cold, hard to hear how terrified they are; terrified of their vulnerability sleeping in public settings, often too afraid to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s harder still to listen to many talk about their feelings of worthlessness, to hear how they struggle with their parents’ refusal to love them because of their being LGBT, how they struggle to cope with having been cast out to the streets as though they are utterly without human value.

The homeless LGBT youth crisis is getting worse. At the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest organization providing housing and supportive services to homeless LGBT youths, the numbers of young people coming to us for help surged in 2016. While in 2015 we saw 1,200 youths, in 2016 we will see close to 1,500 young people, an increase of 20 percent. Other homeless LGBT youth providers are also reporting ever-increasing need. For example, Rick Westbrook of Lost-n-Found Youth, a center for homeless LGBT youths in Atlanta, Georgia, reports that in the last year the number of visits they are receiving has exploded, growing from 300 to over 525 per month.

And now we wait to see what policies the Trump Administration will propose for homeless youth. Given the relentless anti-LGBT beliefs of his cabinet members, we have to anticipate that policies enacted to protect LGBT people, and particularly transgender people, in federally funded shelters will be rescinded, thus making an already violent and frightening system for LGBT young people even more inaccessible. Furthermore, we are preparing for the possibility that the grossly inadequate federal funding for homeless youth will likely be cut. And we anticipate a return to the policies of the last Republican presidency, when LGBT youth organizations were frozen out of federal funding. At the Ali Forney Center we fear that over the next three years we will likely lose over $1 Million in federal funding.

It is urgently clear that with this new administration, homeless LGBT youths will need the support of our community and our allies more than ever before. They will need us to support the precious programs which offer them safe shelter, and affirm their worth and value as LGBT young people. They will need lifelines of protection where they can heal from the trauma of rejection and homelessness and rebuild their lives. The Ali Forney Center gratefully welcomes any support to help us continue our mission of housing and healing homeless LGBT youths. And we encourage you to support programs for homeless LGBT young people in your local areas.

We have prepared case studies that demonstrate what our young people suffer in their homes, what they endure in the streets, and the profound healing that can occur when they are provided with homes where they can be supported and accepted for who they are. (Names have been changed to protect their privacy). Reading these can help anyone understand why we must defend programs for homeless LGBT youth in the time of Trump.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-siciliano/preparing-for-an-emergenc_b_13751038.html?section=us_queer-voices

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A Christmas gift from Thomas Mitchinson CSB, my students and those who helped me.

 

Singing, hoping and forgiving can all promote healing.  I had an opportunity to learn and demonstrate this in 2016.  

Thank you God for a great year and the Christmas gifts seen in the photos below and the previous photos posted on this site of my students. I learned so much and am so grateful for these demonstrations.

As one student stated: “We are your family, teacher”.  This reminds me of Danielle Steel’s post: “God puts the solitary in families.”

Also, special thanks to all those who made this site possible and participated in it or just read it.  

I am truly grateful for Christian Science and to those who helped me get settled in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Some you of helped me with food and another shelter at a time when I desperately needed both.  I never found even an offering at my branch churches in Chicago after leaving a lucrative career in pharmaceutical sales due to their lack of integrity.  I’ll be writing more on both later.  Stay tuned!

Christian Science was a light when all other lights went out and led to healing where I least expected it.

One person whom I helped metaphysically said he is no longer suicidal.  Our candle light talks late into the night were “always full of a bright, positive, Mary Baker Eddy lightness” (Judy Collins).   

He stated during one of our phone conversations: Thank you for being my friend.  The feeling was mutual as Love is reflected in Love.  He use to work at The Mother Church and The Christian Science Monitor years ago.  

He shared healings he has received from Christian Science regardless of him being gay to the human sense.  This contradicts one antigay CSB who told me “you people will never receive healing.”  He was also cut off financially and ostracized from a wealthy family for being gay.  It resulted in great hardship and adversity.  The same thing happened to me.

But Love found a way to bring us together and it felt healing and saving.

Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.

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Wham! – “Last Christmas”:  Class song we all sang together at school.

 

Sing!