Nearer My God to Thee

I have a religious question: When do you feel close to your religion’s god? As a child, I was taught to believe what I was told & not question. As I grew & began to forge my own way & broaden my horizons, I started to challenge what I had been taught. As someone who grew up in the Lutheran faith, reared by former Catholics, I’ve been met with a lot of condescension & nay sayers. I consider myself a devout Christian. I dedicated the first 21 years of my life to a specific church & was confirmed in the faith. They believe you must repent for everything the church considers a sin, e.g. homosexuality. As a gay man, I obviously do not believe this is a sin. I also feel the teachings of the church are completely misguided & interpreted as absolute. In my family, you are not considered a true Christian unless you attend church religiously, no pun intended. Since I was no longer allowed to receive Communion, I found myself searching for a church or denomination who accepted me as a human & allowed for human error. I’ve yet to find this in organized religion. The more I veered away from the church, the more I began to distance myself from the Christian ‘army.’ There’s a quote: I’m not against Christ. It’s His army I can’t stand. This, I’ve discovered, is so painfully true. There are so many people who consider themselves Christian but do not portray Christ’s love. So begs the question: when do you feel closer to God? Do you feel you need to be surrounded by others with like minds? Do you feel closer when you are experiencing everything He’s placed on this earth? Or maybe when you are bettering yourself? I feel closer to God when I’m experiencing everything, nature, pleasures & even the gut checks. When I’m in the gym making my body push the limits. Even carnal pleasures (obviously not during). What do you do to feel your god’s presence?

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Relationship Advice from a 30yo Single Gay Man

A few things I’ve learned in the past 12 years of dating & 10 years of being ‘out’.

1: If you feel as though you’re giving more than the other person, you won’t be happy & you’ll end up making yourself a martyr. Do both of you a solid & speak up. Use words & phrases to bring the other person into the conversation & makes them a part of the solution. ‘I feel’ and ‘It seems’. Great examples.

2: If their words are shit, drop it. Immediately. If the actions don’t match the words, there’s a bigger issue there.

3: DO NOT SNOOP. There’s no reason to snoop. Ever. Nothing good ever comes from snooping. Either you were right & everything goes to shit or you were wrong & you’ve lost the trust of your SO.

4: It’s OK to be adventurous in the bedroom. Whips, chains, handcuffs? Vanilla, sensual, romantic? Mix of the million different things that bring pleasure to the human body? Be open minded.

5: Don’t put limits on your partner. They are their own person, too. Allow them to come to you with their concerns, fears, joys. Creates an atmosphere of trust & openness.

6: When an argument arises, and it will, take a beat. Come back to a calm space. Body contact during the discussion, open body language. Personally, I like discussions in bed while facing each other under the covers.

7: Speaking of arguments, these are healthy. It reminds each of you that you both have your own thought processes & ways of processing information presented. Many times they will bring you closer together. And the make-up sex? See #4. Damn!

Yes. I’m single. Yes. I’ve had 1 major relationship that disintegrated. I don’t know if half of what I say is true. In my mind it works. But I haven’t been able to not make myself a martyr. I haven’t been able to be attracted to someone who wants to build an empire with me by his side. There’s a chance I may end up going it alone. I have to be okay with this. I don’t need a man to be happy. I also don’t need a Mercedes-Benz GL550 to be happy. But it would be a lot more fun if I had one.

This next link is great. I love these:

15 Ways We Can Put An End To The Dishonest Dating Culture We’ve Created

This is my favorite hymn….

Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree

The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the applle tree

His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know but ne’er can tell
His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

I’m weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
I’m weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

This fruit does make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
This fruit does make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.