Teen Suicide, The LGBT Community, And The Church

Recently, I wrote a paper about adolescent suicide as an assignment for a counseling class. While researching this topic, I came across some startling statistics that I feel like I need to share. First, did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States?[1] In adolescents (15-24), suicide is the third leading cause of death[2]! That means that, after accidents and murder, suicide kills more of our young people than any other factor.[2] This blows my mind! Still crazier, this rate skyrockets for adolescents in the LGBT community, with suicide being the number one cause of death.[3] In fact, LGBT youths are “two or three times more likely to commit suicide” than there straight peers, typically as a result of “the debilitating effects of growing up in a homophobic society”.[3]  Some research suggests that upwards of 50% of LGBT adolescents attempt suicide.[4] I think it obviously points to a larger societal issue when nearly half of any one demographic attempts suicide.  Continue reading

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People Need Other People

A few months ago a personal hero, Jamie Tworkowski (from To Write Love On Her Arms), wrote a blog post entitled, “People Need Other People”. His post helped to clarify an idea I’ve been mulling over for a long time. The idea of dependency, of belonging.  This idea:  it’s terrifying and it’s sketchy and it’s beautiful. I stole his title.  Continue reading

Grace is Dirty

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

-Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)

If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago to play a word association game and then presented me with the word “grace”, my response would probably have included words like delicate, gentle, beautiful, tender, and maybe even soft. In my head, grace had become this really clean concept that involves all these beautiful ideas like love and hope and reconciliation.

It’s not. I mean, it does involve love, hope, and reconciliation. But, it’s not clean. The reality is this: Grace is dirty. Continue reading

The World in Black and White?

If you’ve been following the news at all recently, you’re probably aware of the George Zimmerman trial that is taking place in Florida right now. Understand that I’m not writing to assert what I believe happened that night in February, 2012. I honestly don’t know what happened. And, I can’t pretend that I do. But, following the trial and tracking the public’s reaction has really got me thinking about the state of our society as it relates to race and racial identity. Continue reading

The Man, The Myth, The Legend – A Father’s Day Post

dad

I mentioned a few weeks ago in my Mother’s Day post that I have an incredible father. I wasn’t kidding. I really do. I’m not just saying this because it’s Father’s Day. In fact, if you spend much time with me at all, you’ll learn quickly that I have a great deal of respect for my family – and especially my dad. Continue reading

Asaph, The Worship Leader

Asaph has long been one of my favorite characters in the Bible. In case you’re not familiar, Asaph is one of three music leaders that David commissioned to lead worship at the Tabernacle before the Temple was built. David would often send psalms to these leaders, and they would sing them – or lead others in singing them. This was a pretty serious job, and these music leaders had a pretty incredible responsibility. They led worship at the site that the Lord had chosen to dwell!  Continue reading