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Gay Marriage: Right or Wrong?

Many times patients are so ill, that if they knew the true extent of their illness, just their despair could kill them. So doctors work diplomatically, dispensing information only as it is needed to help the patient along. If a surgeon told your mother the brutal truth, and it caused her to die of a heart attack, wouldn’t you hold the surgeon responsible?

It’s right after Easter, the day we celebrated to remind us that Christ rose from the dead and freed us from the death sentence of sin.

So, I think it’s a perfect day to tackle that not-so-well known topic.

You know, the one on Gay Marriage.

*Gasp*

I said it. It’s like a sin to even discuss it, isn’t it? Just like it used to be the end of the world to discuss divorce, and you might as well turn around and crawl back in the womb if we are going to discuss those who have had premarital sex (don’t worry, that blogs coming soon). Those issues aren’t so big anymore. And let’s face it, who wants to look at their teenage daughter and condemn her to hell for one innocent and confused act of sexual curiosity. Or ten. (Not condoning premarital sex here, just condoning the grace that’s supposed to come along when you start following Christ).

That was deep.

I bet you didn’t think my blog was going to get so deep, huh? Well, I have opinions. And they stink just like everyone else’s. And this just happens to be the little place I set up for myself to broadcast my stinky opinions to the world. But hey, at least I’m honest!

Let us get this ball rolling… Let me start off with: I do NOT know all the answers. I know only what I have learned so far. In time, I truly believe God will reveal more truth to me throughout my whole life. Salvation is instant. Sanctification is a life long process.

I agree that the act of homosexuality is a sin. There are 44 references to fornication—sexual immorality—in the Bible. The word – love – appears 310 times. What is it we are campaigning for the most today?

When the Word of God is rightly divided and applied with love, it’s knowledge will produce salvation sanctification. Conversely, when it is wielded as a weapon against people (Eph 6:12) it will ultimately destroy that which was meant to be restored. (Website – and a perfect example of a site I am not sure I agree with in it’s entirety. Website held original quote, which I altered)

But we all sin. God loves us so much, this love cannot be changed, even if we sin. Even if that sin is sexually. Even if that sin is murder. Jesus died for our sin (singular). In reference to our sin nature.

So why waste time hating sin, when there are sinners who need to be loved?

Whether we cheat on our spouse, sleep with the same-sex, have sex before we are married, spill our seed on the floor(uh – not personally guilty but I know a man or two who would be struck with lightning right about now), or struggle with dwelling in lustful thoughts – Jesus STILL loves us.

I must confess, I just killed a tourist, for bad driving, in my head. Also, a sin.

I don’t have all the answers, I don’t know how I would respond if I was asked if I support gay marriage. I think it is safe to say in response to the question, “I just don’t know. I know what society tells me, I know what the anti-gay Christians tell me. I know many of the references in the Bible tell me. I have a basic understanding of Biblical law. I have a basic understanding of societies law. I have my conclusions, but I wouldn’t say they are fact.”

It’s not something that people typically ask me or I come across everyday, except on the Internet… where there is no filter on people’s hate. Both Hate toward the sinner and hate toward the religion.

The answer to the above questions would depend completely on how well we “rightly divide the word of truth.” And unless one is able to apply truth with love-based motivation and compassion, the lesson merely becomes an abstract; devoid of it’s redemptive healing power.

What I do know is I have several homosexual friends. And I love them. Just genuinely love them. I have no agenda, I’m not trying to convert them to my religion (though when the opportunity reveals itself, I will certainly tell them about my God who loves me so much He gave. That He paid the ultimate price for us). I’m not trying to “make them be straight.” I’m not telling them they sin,(because IF they’ve accepted Christ already – they know that homosexuality is a sin. If they’ve not already accepted Christ, they probably already know Christians hate… Well lets just say Christians tend to be well-known for what they are against and less known for what they are for. After all, those good-good Christians don’t hate – that’s a sin.)

I AM trying to be loving to all people by being a friend, and doing what friends do. I AM trying to carry the burden of others.

What outsiders see is a bunch of hypocritical Christians who tell them they can’t be married because Christ says so when The Bible also says not to get divorced, not to be gluttonous, not to covet, not to LIE… (And that’s right, if you lied this week – even a little white lie – that sin is the same hated sin only because it keeps you from God. Who can be this perfect? God loves you so much and that sin would keep you from His love had He not gave… Jesus. ) So if you are an habitual liar with a good heart and struggle immensely with telling lies, and die telling a lie – would you not make it to heaven?

God had Christ cancel the laws of the old testament and put in place a new covenant. (Hebrews) because we would never be able to keep the laws! By the law we were condemned.

Hebrews 8:8-12

“For he finds fault with them when he says:[a]

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”


The Bible is the best self-help book ever written. Not my-husband-needs-help book, not my-gay-neighbor-needs-help book. The best I-need-help book.
We need to stop being harsh on others first, and easy on ourselves. Turn the light of the bible on our own hearts. Can you approach a homosexual and say “I’ve never sinned? I will never sin again.”
It will be a really big let down for yourself when you do.
But Christ died for our liberty, for us to be free to do as we please (Galatians) and while not all thing are beneficial, we have the freedom to do anything (Corinthians). The hope of this liberty is so that we will love (Galatians).

When someone does not accept Christianity as their belief, then we are to love them as if they have no sin. If they claim Christianity and still sin, there is a set way to approach the fellow believer, but it is always gently. If they still do not get it, then we are supposed to love them as if they have no sin.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
—1 Timothy 1:15-16, NIV (Website)

If we try to keep the law (homosexuality is abomination, they are sinners, the law says marriage is only for a man and a women) then we the believer who are enforcing the law become fully accountable for the WHOLE law (Galatians, James) which we have proven we cannot keep, and we the believer will be held up to the law we tried to hold others accountable too and we the believer will be judged by the law.

So, Ashlee, what does this mean?

I do not have all the answers. I do not know what God will say to those who promote gay rights or anti gay propaganda…

What I do know is that I am called to do one thing, and according to Jesus as the most important commandment, love my God by loving His people.

Words of “I love you but” – does not show love. Actions show love. Love with your actions! Give Grace with your words!

I know what some of you might be saying right about now… “Woah, Woah Ash. I thought this was a blog about whether or not gay marriage was right or wrong?” Ok, the truth is, I tricked you. Because for me, the question isn’t whether or not we are meant to get so caught up in the sin and the law against it. Jesus sat with the sinners, the drunkards, the betrayers, and yes… even the tax collectors – woah. He was their friend. He loved them. He helped carry their burdens. “So what you are saying is I am the patient you intended the quote for above?” Why yes, yes I did. As I don’t want you to die of a heart attack so consumed by the law, when Jesus died to set us free from it’s condemnation. We are FREE! Free to love, free to give.

If you are a follower of Christ – are you not also called to love? How are you helping carry others burdens? When you approach the sinner to share with them this great secret knowledge you hold that they sin, are you doing as told and turning the Word inward and examining yourself? Are you not also a sinner. Do not throw the stones.

We are hardening people’s heart to the Good news of Jesus. He is the transformer of hearts. Men do not transform hearts. When we force the law down the throat of the non believer, we are hardening their hearts. And we are condemning ourselves to the law.

When Jesus returns, they stand covered with the blood of the sheep they chased into the wolf pack, expecting Him to say, “Thou good and faithful servant,” but instead He says to them, “Get out of my chair!” (Website)

I hope this to be my prayer,

“Let my words be life. Let my words be truth. I don’t want to say a word unless it points the world back to You.” Lord, please help me to be more like Christ. I want to wash the feet of the tax collectors of our day. I want to drink, eat, and be merry with them Lord, and while I am with them I ask that the light of the Holy Spirit shine throughout me and my actions. I wish to help carry their burden, as I am called to do, and ask that when those opportunities arise you open my eyes. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Marriage is hard.

Marriage is hard.

I say this, and some of you are like, “Eh, I’ve heard that before. I get it… marriage is hard.

Yet, it’s not something you truly get until you are married.

You can’t even begin to understand; what others have told you barely has scratched the surface of the hardships you’ll face. Lets look at this for a minute.

It is as if you are destined to marry the person who is the exact opposite of you. I mean, literally, you do everything different. everything.

Everything.

One of you sits to pee, the other one pees in the sink. One of you can’t stand a house not to be clean, the other sometimes gets the clothes next to the hamper, if they hadn’t already stripped down in the living room. One of you needs your personal space, you can’t be bothered while you are in the shower. The other one asks you to define personal space, as they brush their teeth with your tooth brush while you’re in the shower.

That doesn’t even begin to uncover the differences.

You speak differently, hear differently, communicate different… You even eat differently!

So you’re both so different, and you’re now sharing a confined space you call “home”. However, sometimes it feels more like a war zone than a home. I did mention you argue differently too, right? One of you storms off to clear their head, while the other one needs to cling on for dear life and share their feelings. As if you weren’t going to come back when all was better…
You were going to come back, right?

It’s not like I could sit here and name every single difference you’d face. There are books out there that do a great job of preparing you, but nothing will ever truly prepare you for marriage. It’s like the saying, “You’ll never truly be ready to have kids.”

Except this kid is a grown adult who wants you to treat them with both the utmost kindness as well as baby them when they’ve made some seriously dumb mistake. And you do it too.

Why… Why do you do it?

Because after the battle is done for the day, as you pick up the pieces in the form of dirty clothes scattered throughout the house, you realize something. You become familiar with this person, one of the only people in the world you’ve told all of your deepest, darkest secrets too. The one who’s lifted you up when you were down, encouraged you while you were up, and laughed  at with you in between.

This person is your soulmate, made for you by God. Created specifically to both annoy the heck out of you and love you unconditionally. To both drive you crazy as well as grow you in ways never possible before.

Once in a lifetime love.

Sometimes you catch yourself questioning, “Why the heck did I say ‘I do’?!” and moments later (or sometimes days) you get reminded, “Oh that’s why.”

The good outweighs the bad, the love outweighs the anger, the joy outweighs the suffering. You just know, deep down, that this marriage is worth fighting for.

You’ll question yourself, you’ll ask why… Or for how long can you keep going like this? Then just remind yourself, with God anything is possible.

Make sure you are truly with God. Pray often. Be the kind of spouse you’d expect of the person your child marries to be. Remember, the Bible is the best self-help book ever written. Not the best your-spouse-needs-help book, if they pick it up and get it, they get it. You are called to love. Choose to love your spouse as they are, and if/when God chooses to transform their hearts you may truly deserve the perfected them.

Be the lover, the friend, the partner… After all, that’s why you got into this mess.
Be Christ-like, that’s what each of you need. Because…

Marriage is hard.

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How much does a 90 day road trip cost?

23,000 miles, 4,259 photos, 110 days, $9,500, 269 videos totaling 2 hours of footage, and a lifetime of memories.

What if I told you this trip cost us less than $.050 a mile?

This trip only cost us $0.41 a mile! No, that last one is a statement not a question. That’s for serious! Granted the trip was 23,000 miles long! It was definitely worth every penny! The trip actually ended up lasting 110 days. Our plans, though originally set almost hour by hour, changed to not knowing where we were going day by day. We didn’t skimp on things we really wanted to do like going to the aquarium in Atlanta or eating BBQ in Memphis. However, we did sacrifice on, in some instances, living conditions (though not safety) and when food was not a local specialty must-have we’d eat non-parishables we brought along from home.

We had a few road trip songs; I would say there are about 3 that really touched our hearts. Home by Phillip Phillips, Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner.

Fast forward to today…

Now we are just trying to find our place. Figure out what God wants for us in this new season. We are working on some books. Hashing out some business ideas. We’ve applied for  an 11 month mission trip with the worldrace.org. We’ve applied for and gotten jobs. Entered back into the “real world” as some would call it. Though we will always remember when we blew a mattress up in our car to see if it would fit, spray painted cars, hiked through a national forest and came face to face with a gator, rode a ferry by the statue of liberty, put chains on our tires to cross the great divide, stayed with strangers and made new friends, rode a Gondola at Veil, watched whales migrate south, camped in our car, had an allergic reaction to poison oak, hiked 6 miles round trip into the second largest canyon, had coffee at the original Starbucks, visited the Baseball Hall of fame, chilled in a hot spring, climbed a fence to get a better picture of a leopard, tried to eat breakfast in Mexico, snuck into a golf club to shower, left my wallet in Vegas, traveled the USA in 110 days…

Is it the end, or just the beginning?

So that’s it, right? Finished the drive over to New York. Enjoyed visiting family in between Seattle and Albany (some for a second time). Picked up the car. We’re done, right? I guess we should just go home from there.

But we didn’t.

Stopped to see friends in Baltimore. Stayed in North Carolina. Thawed out in Jacksonville. Since we had gone so far, we might as well finish the drive down to Miami, right? Maybe even chase a sunset to the Keys!

So we did that too.

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Stayed over in the Orlando area, and enjoyed family there. Since this has been quite the adventure, we thought it might be wise to have a vacation from the adventure before we headed back to work.

Cedar Key was recommended as our layover spot, and it was perfect! We stayed at the beautiful Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast. Rode around on a tandem bicycle. Just had a good, restful night.

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Our drive was going to take us right by Adrian’s dad’s house. So we decided to stay one night there. On the way there we passed a guy pushing a giant globe! So we had to ask him what he was doing! (www.worldguy.org)

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Got to Baker, had a great time. Told them about our adventure.

Then we locked keys in car.

Again.

A friend drove up to unlock our car. There was just one problem – we couldn’t find the keys. So we were stranded in Baker, but at least we had good company. It took us three days, but we finally found the keys we drove home.

Home is where ever I am with you.

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The Big Trip in Small Clips!

This short video only has clips from some of the trip! Not even all of it. We took over 200 videos with almost 2 hours of short clips from around the country, picked some of our favorites and condensed those into 2.5 minutes.

Keep checking back to the blog! There are two more posts from the trip. There will be other videos to be posted from the trip as well!

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