Friday, May 24, 2013

W.W.G.S. What Would God Say?

(What Would God Say?)

I really wish that I had a nickel for every time that I asked that question. The short answer is that for me and my life, any form of cross-dressing is wrong. As is drunkeness, fighting, cursing etc. etc etc. Now if I had a huge following on this blog then certainly I will have a number of comments that will either say that I am wrong or bigoted, homo-phobic or my favorite, a hater. Isn't it sad that we can no longer put out there to the world that we feel something is wrong, something that the world has put it's stamp of approval on.  I myself have been recovery for cross-dressing but I also have other character defects as well such as co-dependency and fear of failure or success to name just a few. 
I really think that it has more to do with whose ox is being gored. Personally I struggle with the transgendered community because I do know what it is like to question whether I was born the right gender but I don't hate any one of those with that struggle. I just disagree and would really prefer not to have to be told that I MUST accept it as a normal and acceptable lifestyle. I just say that it is all about choice, it is a choice that is made to go in those directions and away from God. There I said it! You are going against God when you engage in those activities, whether it is cross-dressing, or any of the above, just place your sin in the blank________. Many people that I have conversed with have stated that they don't really think that God gives a rip about whether they cross-dress and some have even stated that it is "morally neutral" as after all it is all about expressing oneself in ones true identity. But how could God not care? How could a loving God that is everywhere, knows everything and has been there since the beginning, not care what His creatures do with the life that He has given them?
What if God came down for to earth for an informal chat with us? What if He gave us His opinion about whether cross-dressing was a neutral thing. I believe that this question goes far deeper than Deuteronomy 22:5. I believe that God cares about whether a man cross-dresses or permits any kind of sin in his life. 
This is my attempt to examine what God might say to all of us about this most perplexing topic.

Place: An office in Chicago

Recently, I have noticed an increase in the subject of cross-dressing and the entire spectrum of gender confusion. It would also seem that there are many in society today that are embracing this lifestyle as normative and acceptable. There are a few fringe organizations and groups that are also fighting this acceptance claiming that God would not approve of this kind of life. So, I made some calls and was lucky enough to have God come down to speak to us where we might finally get the answer to this most perplexing of questions. This then is the result of that meeting for your perusal:

My children,  I am letting you know that I really don't like many of the choices many of you have made over the years. You want to interpret what I said in the bible? What isn't clear about what I have written through the men that I hand-picked? Like my prophet Isaiah  

"What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?'

Do you truly understand the price that I have paid just to have you with me? Do you understand the deep love that I have had for all my children since the time of the first one? I am your father and as your father I guide you and direct you and when you veer from the path I have laid out for you, that which is the best path, then I must out of love help you to find the way back by your very choices. Choice is everything and my choice has always been out of love for you. Why do you feel that every time you hear or think of the word discipline, the corresponding word to you is punishment? Discipline is nothing more than training or correction. Have you forgotten my servant David? Did I withdraw my love or condemn him? What about my people the Jews? Did I punish them? Forget them? No, I love them and my love never fails! I correct and train up and teach all of my children that which will create in them the strength that is needed to arrive at the perfect place that I have planned. Do I say one thing and yet do another? How could I be perfect and want perfection and yet change my mind or be capricious?
When you ask for chapter and verse from my word to determine whether something is acceptable or not I weep. I gave you all you need in my book but you must read it with My help and not try to figure it out on your own. My desire is your perfection and what you wear is just a covering. The fact that it is termed as male or female will make no difference to me; but what I will hold you to is your intentions, your heart. I know that you all have "A Thorn" in your side but that thorn is there to let you know that you can't do this life on your own. Perhaps what you need to look at is why you have those desires? Has it ever dawned on you that I did not create you to live this life alone. I want you to choose me and the great life that I have planned for your life. I created a desire in you to perform good works and I wanted it to be a gift that you would use for my glory, not yours. 
Maybe I wanted you to be an artist or a designer and when you were young those kids you were with didn't understand the gift that I gave you and they hurt you. Maybe those lines that I created between boys and girls got really faded because of something that happened to you as a child and you didn't feel comfortable as a boy so you went the other way. You all have your stories and they all break my heart. Remember that for every story I have provided a way out so you don't sin. Can you ask for me to show you the way out? Remember to choose me and I will make all things right for you. I want you to need ME, not some inanimate object! 
I really love the song "You Are My All In All" I want my children to get their relaxation in me. I want your need to overcome fears to be fulfilled through me. I want all your struggles and pain and victories and joy to be in me and about me! 
If in your heart you know that there is no "hook" in it when you want to wear the clothes, in other words, there is absolutely no feeling either mental or physical when you don an article of clothing, then why would it matter what covers your body?
Perhaps you should also ask yourself is this thing something that I would tell you is the "best" I have planned for you? 
Paul was one of the great apostles, take a look at what I said through him in Romans:
Romans 12:1,2

Is this how you might define what you do with your body? That it is a living sacrifice? 
If, you are doing what you are doing to "get" something out of it, then my child you are trading that something for what I would gladly give you. You are choosing some thing other than Me. How could I want that? What if your child found something to replace you and your love and grace? How would you feel?
I gave you the gift of choice because I want you to want to be with me, not forced or coerced to do something just because you think I might be pleased. When I said heart, soul and mind and strength, these were not empty words. I meant it and if anything is taking the place of me in your life, then you must look at that through the whole of the Bible.
Mark 12:30 says:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

Don't depend on one verse to define or redefine your behavior, just follow Me and keep learning. I did not make man and woman to be interchangeable beings; I gave you each specific gifts that are yours and yours alone. Be honest with yourself as you go through your days here. Does it even make sense that if everything I have created is perfect that I have now in 2013 changed my mind about the sexes you were created to be? I am your potter, I am your gardener and I am your God! I make no mistakes and you cannot "figure" me out. Just live your lives in my light and in my word and in my love and be with others so that you don't beat yourself up so much. In your day all will be explained to you on that day.

I want you to trust me that I know all that you need and all that you require.
Trust Me!


Proverbs 3:5&6 says:

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Frightening Prospect

You know, there are so many good blogs out there and I enjoy writing to a lot of them. So much in fact that I don't find the time to write much on my own blog. Partly because I find it difficult to believe that anyone would read what I write. My wife is my biggest fan and so I do enjoy once in while just writing as my thoughts go. I have been moved lately to write to the hurting men out there that struggle with sexual impurity and transgender issues. I don't  have any easy answers but what I can do is to just tell my story and pray that God might use some of what I write for his glory and purpose.
I am writing tonight as I listen to the great apologist for my faith, Ravi Zacharias. He is speaking at Founders week at Moody Church here in Chicago and for those who might not know one of things that Ravi is known for is explaining not just truth but how it is relevant as well. As a writer I wish that I could explain things as he does but all I am left with is the ability to explain the truth as it relates to my story.

In August of 2011 I had a dream that shook me to my core.
I don't know about the rest of you but I know that science tells us that we all dream every night and in my 56 years here on earth I am sure that is what has happened within the realm of my sleep cycle as well. The biggest question though is this? Out of all the dreams we dream, can we remember but a very few? I know that I can't remember what I had for dinner last night much less my dreams.Sometimes I have had dreams that were personal but could not remember upon waking anything but a few choice bits of information, then when regaling my wife with my dream very often can't put any of it back together in any cohesive way. I feel like a madman trying to explain why is there air. They come and they go night in and night out and like sudden storms come in leave a few bits in their wake and they are gone. Such is my history of dreams.
This night, however would be different because for the first time in my life, God reached in to my psyche and gave me a dream that was so vivid and memorable that I know that I will carry it's contents to heaven with me. At some point in REM I began to dream:

I am hearing voices, voices from my past and in fact voices so crystal clear that I think I am actually there participating in the story unfolding. I hear my mom and step-father and they are fighting again and she is about to be beat again. I can feel the tension building in me and I am in pain over it all, then there is another scene from my past and that is when it hits me. I am hearing these voices and seeing what is going on in my mind like some sort of all encompassing TV screen that is showing me my life in total, everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly, the pain and hurt and sorrow. With every scene I am feeling the emotions I had when those things happened but they are stronger by a thousand percent and I come to the sad realization that I am seeing this in my mind because I am dead. I cannot move, I cannot speak or open my lifeless eyes because I am stone cold gone. Yet I am alive emotionally and I feel that which I never felt before and the intensity of these emotions is so great that I am in physical pain. When the pain that I did experience while alive does come, it feels like the worst pain imaginable. I can't cry and there is no solace but only the constant play of my life over and over again. Then in another corner of this huge picture in my mind I see names scrolling vertically and I am reading the names and they are the names of all the people in my life that I had met, all the people in my life who were close to me and even acquaintances that were in my life for a season. As the names scroll past a voice comes to me and tells me "you didn't make it!" I am seeing in my life's story all the events, all the people, all the choices and it dawns on me after I see Pastor Burkey's name pass me and Don Schoff's name and others who influenced my life to make decisions for Christ, that Jesus or God were NOT on my list. I am in HELL and that thought comes into my mind like a brick smashing into a plate glass window. That is what he meant when he said I didn't make it, I was dead all right but out of the body present with the Lord right? Not me, I was a christian wasn't I? I had the golden ticket, I said the words and I believed, didn't I? How could I not have made it as the voice told me? The onslaught of emotions came again and now I was in agony. I realized that my eternity was this, the constant playing and replaying of my life over and over again with no breaks, no respite, no END  to the torment that I was going through. Sadly all I saw was a nominal man living a nominal life and never fully trusting God for anything. I had intellectual assent but nothing from the heart and now after having all those chances to make decisions for Christ and the Kingdom I was doomed to an eternity without him. My Lord had died for me and taken all my sins on his back at Calvary, everything I had ever done or even thought of doing and I never fully put my trust in him. I wanted to cry out and couldn't. I wanted to scream and couldn't, I wanted to tell God how sorry I was for taking his grace for granted and I couldn't. I had made my decision in life. A decision to have a casual relationship with the all-mighty and I was shown that my Father didn't do casual relationships.In my agony I now knew what "all or nothing" really means. I longed for Jesus and his comfort and I could not feel it. I only felt the emptiness and sorrow without end that comes from taking for granted all that God had given me.
The voice came back to me and said"did you really think my son's death would be so cheap?" I knew then that God was speaking to me and I knew at my core that it would be the last time for all eternity that I would hear his voice. Words cannot express how much pain I was in and how much I wanted to speak to yell to scream NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Mercifully, I awoke, and as I came to consciousness, I saw my alarm clock and my the light on my bedstand and realized with a start that I was in my bedroom. I immediately fell to my knees and just cried out "I am so sorry Lord I just didn't know, I just didn't know, I am so sorry for everything. I kept trying to get lower and lower and if I could have I would have gotten under the very floorboards because at that moment I was in front of a merciful, Holy and Loving God and I knew it. I was a filthy sinner in front of a Holy God. I never thought that I was taking Him for granted but that is what I had done and God showed me how very much he cares about me that night. He let me know how much He really loves me and loves all of us with a love that we cannot fathom this side of Heaven.
My wife was yelling at me, "Andrew what is it? What is going on? are you all right?" I replied " you wouldn't understand, you wouldn't understand as I buried myself into the floor. I was crying so hard, tears of relief, tears of life, tears of joy.

I went back to sleep after that and slept in a way that I will never sleep again, comforted in my Father's arms and resting in the knowledge that I was loved.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Rosie's Light

This is something I have been meaning to write for a while but I also wanted to wait a little while because when the loved one passes everyone comes in droves to support the living. I have also had the experience of knowing that after a month or so the visits become less and the phone rings less often. This is my way of sharing with Rosie's husband how her light affected me. I just hope he likes it. Blessings my friend.

Rosie's Light

By Michael F. Anderson


I lost a good friend today while on my appointed rounds

I didn't know her well but she was a bright light in an otherwise dim day.

Delivering mail allows one to see people in all light

and dark.

But the highlight of my day came when Rosie would come to the door.

Struggling as always with the lock on the door but I always knew she would have that smile.

That smile of a million candlepower coming right from her inner soul

the smile that let you know that told you without words you have just made her day.

A smile that came from a joy unspeakable, not happiness, but pure joy

That let me know she was a believer in the one that blesses us with that light that we never get to keep.

That light that we get to give away.

The light that lets others know that we are different in a way that

arouses a curiosity about us.

Rosie was indeed walking with God and her spirit shone like a beacon when we spoke.

Nothing deep, nothing really profound, just a comfortable exchange that friends engage in amidst the dullness that is our life.

But Rosie left me feeling hungry for more, more of the non-verbal touch, more friendship

more life!

The angels met her at the gates I am sure the day she left this world and she took the light with her, to give away once more on a different plane of existence that I long for one day.

I will see her again to be sure,

she will be the one over there

with the light.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fragility revisited

Wow I can't hardly believe that a year has gone by already. I also can hardly believe how God has changed me in that same period. As it has been a year since writing how fragile I am I think I want to revise that post by stating that I am still a fragile being but that is only if I do life by myself. I am finding that as I put more trust in God to handle my hurts, habits, and hangups whatever they may be , He is able to make me stronger for it. I am looking for him far more than ever before and He is faithful and showing up to be the strength that I am not.
I spoke of my music and the instruments I want to learn to play. I started lessons on the dulcimer a week ago Monday. I need to develop my discipline muscle and that is something that I avoided like the plague. Well, God has a way of getting hold of us and telling us point blank that "enough is enough" so this will be the year that I learned at a heart level that I am not alone.
My struggles with cross-dressing have diminished significantly over this last year, am I over it so to speak? Like Paul who spoke of a thorn in his flesh I think that I will always carry this "thorn" till I am taken home but thanks be to God I have been able to trust others to come along side and join me on this journey.
I have a friend that I spoke to today who is in the hospital. We were at bible study last night and he just did not look to good towards the end when our facilitator tried to engage him in conversation. All of a sudden he stated that he didn't feel well and up and left. I have since found out that he was struggling to inhale for the past two days. TWO DAYS! What, you don't notice that inhaling breath, which the last time I noticed was pretty much an automatic thing, is difficult and red flags and warning bells didn't go off in your head telling you that something is amiss? Excuse me sir, but I seem to be having difficulty inhaling air that is needed to keep me in an upright position, do you think you could possibly help me to figure out how I might achieve a more satisfactory way of life? Or HELP ME I AM NOT BREATHING I NEED HELP!
I think in many ways I was like my friend who thought that I could do it myself. I knew I needed help but didn't ask for a lot of it. I told a friend recently "I want accountability but I don't want accountability, I want you to ask me the hard questions but I really don't want you to ask me the hard questions. It is indeed a double edged sword, much like life, life, death, yes, no, accountability or isolation. If I don't get the help I need, like my friend I could have died spiritually speaking (my friend is fine btw) and it is my choice. I chose life, I chose to get involved more with my Celebrate Recovery group, I chose to get help from my wife, and last but not least I decided to trust God and the men that he put in my life.
I am not as fragile as I was a year ago and that is because the Holy Spirit has shown me that I don't have to be. I don't have to take everything so personally. I don't have to think that it is always about me. I don't have to be so concerned with how others see me or if they see me, and if they do then how do I appear? He is teaching me that I am a child of the King and the King loves me just for who he made me. I am a compassionate warrior.
So the journey goes on from here. I have found other men that are struggling with the same thorn as I have and it is refreshing to be able to communicate with persons on that same exact journey. It is also a blessing to be able to see the truth that it is not what God wants as the "best" for us. I think that all to often we want everything in a neat box where we can say that is bad and that is wrong but God gives us so much blessed freedom to come to those decisions ourselves. I welcome any disagreement with any position I hold because I am called to love others even in disagreement. I want to share my story with others so that maybe something will resonate within that person to turn toward or back toward the real Healer and that is Jesus Christ. I want to be able to say Merry Christmas because for me it is just that and not have take offense to it. I want to be accepted as one who will hear others stories and find a resonance within them. The church has not done a great job in coming alongside those that are hurting but I want to be different and say that all are welcome here whatever your hurts, habits, or your hangups and that everyone know that here you are not judged, but loved for who you are in Christ.
Merry Christmas to All who come here!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm Fragile and I Didn't Even Know It!

I am fragile.
I never really looked at that until just recently when I was thinking why am I so angry at K? Why do I constantly shut down or want to shut everyone out? I am fragile, there is pain yet to be uncovered and I WANT TO THINK THERE IS NO MORE. If SO WHERE COULD IT HAVE BEEN FOR THE LAST 55 YEARS OF MY EXISTENCE HERE ON EARTH? I have been a co-dependent my whole life. If I do something, give something, be someone else, then maybe you will like me. It works the other way as well if I don't do something you don't want me to, then maybe I will be OK. Maybe if someone reads these words they will be helped or maybe they will see the light in their own life and then maybe they will like me.Can you see how this pervasive way of running my life has messed me up so badly?
OK so I had a rotten childhood and was beat and molested and all that but now the pain I deal with is me. Will I ever be worthy of love? Of happiness? Of just existing without the need to perform like some trained seal? You would never know it to look at me but those are the games going on in my psyche. All the time, or at least most of the time. Oh God I wish it were different but wishing it away won't work and unfortunately I know that and wish I didn't. I wish that I didn't crumble when someone is critical of me in any way. Here is a little taste of what has come to me recently.
Maybe 3 years ago I decided that I wanted an Appalachian dulcimer. One because it was supposed to be easier to learn that a Hammered Dulcimer which I also own. Now first you have to know that when I begin what I shall term "the hunt" I am obsessive with finding just the right thing the perfect item and all at the right price. It is sad to say that my life has consisted of many hunts and kills but not much follows after the adrenaline rush is over. I am actually all about the rush of obtaining and little about the follow through. So I began the hunt and lo and behold I spotted my quarry. I was able to make the purchase as a Christmas gift from my wife. I found a man in Texas that hand made dulcimers and would make them out of any wood you might desire. Well here was an opportunity to score a real prized possession. I mean I could pick the wood and the design for the holes and practically pick everything I wanted to design and Tom would make it that way in about 12 or so weeks for about $650.00. Something so beautiful that it could be passed down from generation to generation. (besides being obsessive and compulsive I am a bit of a romantic)
May 2007 came and lo and behold that was the month my instrument arrived. It was beautiful, in fact it was everything that I could have hoped it would be and as I showed it to my family, I got the oh it's nice honey and looks real pretty, what are we having for dinner? BLOW 1 When I recovered I went to play it and of course I know the basics but not enough to sound good and sure enough I got OH MY GOD IT IS NOT GOING TO SOUND LIKE THAT IS IT? Well BLOW 2. To my own shame I tell you this probably did not happen nearly as I have portrayed it but that is the way my soul heard it. I quietly packed it up and haven't picked it up again. It is a thing of beauty and I am so fragile that I could not take what was probably a throw-away line and meant nothing but to me it was like a poker as hot as hades entering my heart. I am fragile and I still don't know how to deal with life on life's terms. Any healthy person would have shrugged it off and said something like well  that's your opinion now but just wait till I learn how to play. But I lost.
Recently my wife and I were at a show,  (we sell at arts and crafts shows) , and my wife commented on a pair of earrings that I purchased there. She said something like You are getting back into your feminine streak again. Well I blew a gasket at her, how dare she say something like that to me, why i have been working hard at keeping myself clean and sober, holding those cross dressing demons away from my door, and she could say something so cruel? How could she? I was devastated. Have I mentioned that I am fragile? Another opinion and yet the pain was to much to bear so I lashed out at her and shut down everything. All I felt was the pain and I know she really didn't mean it the exact way I took it but the damage was done. No more would I let her in like that! Close the fortress doors and do not open them for any reason. I'm fragile and I didn't even know it!