Would you believe it?  This month am celebrating my 75th birthday.  In my autobiography I cover seven decades of my life. And today, I am still walking around.  Every day I live on this earth is a gift from God -- a bonus.  I have survived to leave a legacy.  My ministry will continue after I have checked in at the Pearly Gates of Heaven.


     My path in life has not always been easy.  Yet there have been wonderful experiences throughout my life journey.  So many wonderful people have crossed my path. 


     In addition to celebrating my biological birthday this year, on May 1st I celebrated my 50th Anniversary living as Paula -- when I embraced my true identity 24/7.  Some say that trans-people are confused about their gender identity.  I can only speak for myself.  The truth is that I have never been confused about who I am.  And I have always known that Jesus accepts me as a trans-person.  In this regard, I am very fortunate.


     A "saint" I am not.  I inherited my father's strong voice.  My actions, good or bad, are anything but quiet.  The Apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to Timothy:  "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (I Timothy 1:15) 


     My preaching accentuates the positive.  Whatever the venue -- when putting my pen to parchment, standing behind a pulpit, or sitting in front of a television camera -- I preach a victorious Gospel message. And every time I exhort people to maintain a positive attitude, I am keenly aware that I am preaching to myself.


     I do not profess to have all of the answers to life's dilemmas.  And I am afraid of people who do.  I can only share with you what has worked for me.


     If you are aspiring to the ministry, I exhort you to never succumb to the temptation or the tendency to be pious and sanctimonious. Do not point a finger of judgment or condemnation at anyone.


     The pious religious folk did not like Jesus when he lived on this earth.  These were those who used the scriptures to advance their unkind and unloving words. That crowd is still around today. 


     A book I recommend is "Something More" by Catherine Marshall.  It was published in the mid-1970's.  Following is a quotation from this book:


     "The Gospel is truly good news.  The news is that there is no situation -- no breakage, no loss, no grief, no sin, no mess -- so dreadful that out of it God cannot bring good, total good, not just 'spiritual', if we will allow Him to.


     "Our God is the Divine Alchemist.  He can take junk from the rubbish heap of life, and melting this base refuse in the pure fire of His love, hand us back -- gold."


     As I turned back the pages of my life when writing my autobiography, I found this to be true for me time and time again.  Every time I screwed up, good still came out of the situation.


     Another blessing in my life is the knowledge that God's invitation to "whosoever will" (Acts 2:21) includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-persons.


     Acts 8:27-39 records the conversion and baptism of an Ethiopian eunuch   In a discussion on Facebook, Don Smith points out that the eunuch "certainly wasn't heterosexual." Don elaborates that: "The bigger point is that individuals who were categorically excluded from participation in the community of faith under the Old Covenant were welcomed by the followers of Jesus.  This meant that a eunuch could actually join the Church."  (The Old Testament prophet Isaiah makes this truth abundantly clear, as recorded in Isaiah 56:3-5)


     God is "no respecter of persons". (Acts 10:34)  God desires to invade every corner of your life with unconditional love and acceptance.


     Know that!!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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