A New Post from a New Computer

I am quite happy that today, I received a new little baby. I am the proud owner of a nice little HP mini desktop computer. I know it’s not some raging fast, large capacity monstrosity, but that is fine. It will do everything I need for it to do. I need to move the program for my voice recorder over from my old laptop for when I feel like recording something new. I will most likely download Chrome as I detest Internet Explorer. I have my full office suite installed and ready to go. I hope I will be at this computer often and posting more exciting things happening in my life.

One important thing is that I’ve managed to lose 10-12 lbs in the last month and couldn’t be happier. I had become large and it was all my fault. I was letting things get to me, bring me down, and make me eat stupid things without thinking about the effects on my body. I’ve seen great things happening to my body already and I hope the changes do not stop.

Until I get more to write about, have a great week!

It’s A New Year

I hope everyone’s year is starting off great. It’s definitely starting off here in the Atlanta area as a very rainy and cold year. I’m hoping it warms up, but if last year is any indication of what we’re going to see, we need to batten down the hatches and pull up our long johns. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Or, better yet, a slippery one. At the current time, The Weather Channel® app says that it is 15° F (-9.44° C) at our house. That is insane! Yes, Mother Nature, we know it is winter, but for goodness sake, keep this mess above the Mason-Dixon Line! LOL!

I know what this means for tomorrow morning. This means I will be reaching in to the back of my dresser and grabbing my 2xist or Champion long johns or going into the closet and getting my red Bass Pro union suit. Either one will work wonderfully. I guess it all depends on whether I want to walk around all day in underwear that covers my whole body or in something that only covers the legs. The last time I wore my union suit, I found myself getting naked in the bathroom at work, peeling off this horribly hot piece of clothing. It had been rather cold that morning, but as the day progressed, it became warmer and warmer. It was either sit at my desk and be totally miserable or go be a stripper in the bathroom for a few moments and hope someone would be gracious enough to throw a dollar or two under the stall wall. I wouldn’t have anything to put the money in until my pants were put back on, but I would still have thanked them.

I have been thinking heavily on what I want to make resolutions for this year. The first thing is to get back into better shape. That’s muy importante! I have gut drastically back on the amount of carbs I intake. I haven’t had a soft drink in a while. I haven’t eaten any candy except for the occasional breath mint (others are happy). I have been eating more lean meat and vegetables along with fruit. I cheated a few nights ago because the partner and I went to a local Sushi restaurant and I ordered their deluxe arrangement of 12 pieces of sashimi and 7 pieces of nigiri which could not have been more fantastic. If a dish has ever made you happy, you know how I felt eating this wonderful meal. At times, I felt horrible that I was eating such art. Salmon, tuna, scallops, and more adorned a long plate with shredded Asian radish. I’m sure they would have been pretty swimming around in water but they were more delicious in my stomach.

I want to work on like learning more programming with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. More and more things are being given to me at work that involve programming and it’s getting more difficult in understanding. Just recently, I was assigned two tasks that depended on me to write JavaScript to show various pictures on pages depending on the ID of a restaurant location. Another task had me using a different setup to basically do the same thing but with much deeper coding. I know the more I work on it, the more I will be able to handle. I just need the time and the ability to focus on what I am doing.

There are other things I want to work on, but I will take those day by day. Those things sit deeper in me…not like in my colon or stomach, but in my soul and who I am as a person. We should always be looking ourselves over to see things like that. Don’t wait till Lent to tackle those things. Get a head start and you’ll have a little over a month to work on it before Ash Wednesday.

Have a fabulous New Year and make it one you will never forget.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It seems like 2014 recently began, but here we are approaching Christmas and the greeting of 2015. We get a barrage of feelings during this short yet hectic holiday. We are, most importantly, happy that we have made it through another year with ourselves, our other halves, and all our other loved ones. We are excited to see what the following year holds. We anticipate changes in the coming year to balance out the things that didn’t pan out the year before.

Yet, do we think about everyone else who may also be feeling the way we do?

This past Sunday, we celebrated the final Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of preparation. The word preparation can mean various things to people depending on the context. Within the Christian religion, Advent is a time of preparation of the nativity of Christ the child and also the return of Christ the King. We ready ourselves to observe the birth of Christ in beautiful services with amazing flower and ornamental displays, beautiful music, and warm gatherings to spread love and the ever lasting prayer for peace. At the same time, in the church year, we are approaching the season of Lent and Easter as we look thoroughly through ourselves to find even the smallest pieces of doubt, fear, and guilt and offer those at the feet of Christ and pray that he take them from us in return for his mercy, forgiveness, and God’s grace.

During this Advent and Christmas season, I hope that everyone close to me, and all who read my blog, have dug deep inside themselves. I hope that whatever was found was closely observed and questioned. “Does this need to be held inside any longer or do I need to release it?” I have tried my best to look through myself to see if there are any bits of quilt or bad feelings and I have found a few things that do not make me feel proud. Those will be worked on as the following days, weeks, and months flow by me. It’s the least I can do to better myself.

All that leading up to how much I have enjoyed many moments during 2014. I have met some wonderful people who have helped me find myself. I have wonderful friends who have been allowed into my life even deeper than they were to witness my thoughts and the direction why were going. At the same moment, unfortunately, others that posed negative affects on my life have been pushed farther away. I know that shouldn’t be the case, but I can’t have arms pulling me down at the same time as more loving arms are trying to pull me upward. Just as a sheet of paper, I would be torn apart if I continued to allow the negative to get that strong of a hold on me. Maybe in the future, instead of those arms trying to pull me down, they will try to help push me up or even take my hand and let me pull them up with me.

To all that read The Gay Life of a Country Boy, I wish you the most wonderful blessings and happiness this Christmas season and I hope that New Years will open your locked doors and let your spirit free and experience life as it should be lived. Do good for friends, family, those that aren’t as fortunate as yourself, and then lastly…but definitely not least…do things for yourself that make you feel good and feel lifted. Make a promise to yourself that you will stay positive. Make a promise to yourself that when you see negativity come close, you will walk the other way. We have a life that we can either spend feeling depressed and upset all the time or we can make a change and look for positive influences and positive thoughts and walk above all the darkness.

Much love to you all and I hope I will be around much more in 2015.

Why Be Against Nudity

I came across this little gem today. It’s great when I find others with the same thoughts on things as I do…especially nudity. Have we, as humans, made too large of a deal about nudity? Why is it that if I get naked, people either get happy or confused, or totally angry and want me hung? Are people scared of the human body? It will forever be a mystery to me.

GCB0118 – Alive And Well

Episode 118 is a short but sweet podcast. I took a moment to sit down a record something to say I had recorded something this summer. It’s to let you all know I’m alive and well. I’m just figuring some things out. Give us a call at (678) 765-9776 or an email at thegaycountryboy@gmail.com

Passwords

Why do they have to be such a pain to create? I know they have to be complicated so that any idiot can’t get into your accounts. The trouble is trying to come up with something that will make sense to you in the future. Ugh!

Being Tested and Finding Strength

When you hear of someone being tested, what do you imagine?  Do you think of a test of something being taught? Maybe you think of someone being tested on the ability to do a task.

Do you ever think about someone being tested spiritually?

Recently, I was faced with a dilemma. A person became upset because of something I didn’t do, even though my plans were not fully known to them. Without one thought to call, that person, in the manner we’ve become accustomed, blew a mental gasket and decided to take his misplaced frustration out on an innocent person…at the same time proclaiming to be doing it for the sake of that person. I know, I was quite confused myself. Before long, the tirade evolved into me not being welcomed around that person for the duration of my trip. By the way, I was not in Atlanta at the time.

I could have taken this rather differently than I did, but I prayed for a calmness to overtake me. What would it have proven if I had taken the same approach as that individual? It would have proven that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I couldn’t let that become true. I have tried my entire life to prove that statement wrong. With a new vision of what life can be, I have to be the better person in a time of trial. Looking back, I could see this as a test of my character, my belief, and my faith. At the same time, I could see this as a test of my willingness to follow at least one of God’s commandments. They’re rather easy to follow, but it would be easier if everyone in question would make that an easier task. I, at one point in time, even questioned the ability of God to change that person from the inside. At moments, I was feeling bouts of anger and resentment towards this person, not because of his opinions, but rather his way of voicing them.

Around my neck, I wear a necklace given to me in high school. I may have written about it before, but it says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) I don’t wear it simply to have something hanging around my neck. I truly believe its words. When faced with a situation we find difficult or stressful or disheartening, we are given the power to get through it, the love to show those involved, and the self-discipline to not do something to either make the situation worse or cause unpleasant feelings in those involved.

When I returned to Atlanta, I had a feeling something wasn’t right. Had I done something that wasn’t thoughtful of other’s feelings? Did I make my own personal excuses as a rebuttal to that person’s issues or did I create them to ease my conscience? Were my actions understood by the person wrongly scolded? I believe that my actions were perfectly fine and my intentions, or plans, were respected and understood by that person. I however was left wondering how I needed to handle the person airing the issue. Do I call to apologize for something I shouldn’t feel ashamed or should I let it go and observe from a distance?

When in times of doubt, confusion, or in need of direction, I was always taught to pray and listen…talking to God as a best friend, telling everything causing trouble and uneasiness, and then listening for the answer in whatever way is revealed. One of those recent prayers was to reaffirm my faith in God that he can move in people, no matter how difficult it may seem. There have been more hardened hearts God has broken. In that time of prayer, I did as I should and prayed for the others involved…that they be comforted and filled with the love that heals.

Sometimes, the hardest thing is asking for help, but the scariest thing is thinking there’s no one there to listen. I may not have a secret telephone with a direct line to heaven, but I do have a soul that feels connected and full of power and commitment. That’s my channel to God and my way to get the message to Him, knowing He will be there to listen and give direction.

And that is what I receive….direction on how to navigate through a life filled with curvy roads and high mountains.

Confirmation Day for Us

This past Sunday, May 11th, was Confirmation Day at the Episcopal Church we attend. Confirmation, as defined by Mr. Webster, is a Christian rite conferring the gift of the Holy Spirit and among Protestants full church membership. Many of the confirmandi were baptized as children, making confirmation a welcoming into the church family as adults and being “sent out” to do as Christ commanded and spread his truth. Others at the ceremony were not being confirmed, but rather were being received or affirming their beliefs after a possible time of distance from the Christian family…personally or privately.

Travis and I were being received into the Episcopal family. Being received means that we had already made a public profession of faith as a person of age…primarily someone of age to know how the decision would affect our lives…and had been baptized. That would be for me, respectively, be August 3rd and August 14th, 1994. I was very excited to be received into the Episcopal Church. I have immensely enjoyed myself since I began attending over a year ago. Each time I go there, I feel closer and closer to those I know and hope to know more. This began my journey as a true Episcopal.

It was not only wonderful that I went through this ceremony with the youth of the church which I have become close to as I see them growing in faith, love, and maturity, but also because I was able to make this step in my life with my loving partner in life. We were there side by side as we renewed our baptismal vows, were received by Bishop Whitmore, and took communion. I am very blessed in more ways than I can count and I will be forever thankful for each and every blessing I am given.

A Change, A Realization, A Home, and A Family

Have you ever had a change that was so drastic that some people believed it was totally fake or that it was solely to show off or make a point?  Have you ever thought you had done something terribly wrong over the years to make people see you in a different light than you see yourself?  Have you ever had the belief that someone automatically saw you as something totally on the basis of what you like or do?  Have you ever thought that being honest and completely uncovered to people you know might drive them away from you?

Those are the questions and issues I have been dealing with for the past few weeks.

I have done a lot of thinking as of late….kind of a reflection on my life and the things which have taken place through the years.  It hasn’t made me happy overall.  There have been too many times when I may have led people to believe I am a total bitch most of the time, not only to people that I am friends with, but to people I do not know.  I can honestly say, I have a personality where if it needs to come out, it comes out.  Yes, sometimes that can sound mean and off-putting, but I am from the school of, “Sometimes, the truth hurts.”  I am not mean to people to be mean.  I was raised better than that and I do not see myself as a hurtful person.  I do have thoughts, beliefs, and opinions that differ from others, but so does everyone else in this world.  If we were all the same, nothing would get accomplished and we, as humans, would never advance.  Don’t let my differences lead you to believe that I am a terrible person.

I am a gay man.  Yes, I am.  It may be hard for some to believe, but it’s true.  I don’t fit into the scene of gay culture.  It seems many gay men aren’t keen on the idea of a spiritual life when it comes to Christianity. Many have been hurt or have never been introduced to the real and true feeling of wholeness that comes along with knowing a Heavenly Father.  I can’t heal any scars left behind by someone who hurt them.  I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m forcing it down their throats, but I want to be able to write when I feel moved.  I have this blog and I want to use it in a way that will help me get my feelings out.  I’m chasing rabbits now, but basically, I hope I won’t be shunned or looked at unfavorably if I mention my spiritual life from time to time.

I have been on a mission of finding myself.  I tell people that I found out so much about myself when I turned thirty years old.  The self-awareness has not ceased.  Every week, if not day, I see something else I didn’t see before.  Sometimes it hurts and other times it makes me happy.  Either way, it is something that is being shown to me and at a time when I need to see it.  It’s a lesson learned when I needed it.  I wish I had a mental calendar or notepad to keep track of all the things revealed to me at the very instance they are discovered, but then I would probably have a wreck as it generally happens while I am driving.  I’ll have to work on a thought/revelation journal.  That could be exciting and scary at the same time.

There is no other way to say it and I am not ashamed to say or talk about it.  I have found the place I have been yearning for in my life over the past fifteen plus years.  I didn’t think I needed it often, but I’ve been lying to myself out of madness at people who should not have control of me or my thoughts at this stage of my life.  I, like many others, have realized that not all Christians can be lumped together as if they have the same exact mind frame.  I have found a home at the local Episcopal church and I haven’t been this happy in years.  I know I am not the only person struggling with life and I know that I am not perfect in any way.  I do know, however, that there are many people out there who are loving, kind, caring, and all together concerned about others and want to see the best result for their lives.  I honestly believe that.  I have met many people who are truly refreshing and motivating and I need those people in my life.  I need more positive people and less negative.  I need a group of people who open my mind and free me from the thoughts and feelings that bring me down and deter me from growing.  I feel that I have made friends with people with those exact qualifications.

On May 11th, I will be received into the Episcopal church.  I cannot be more excited and thankful.  I have found there are more accepting and loving denominations in the United States compared to Southern Baptists in which I was raised, and subsequently, voted out.  That behind me, I am ready to pick my life back up where I left off years ago.  I have a great Christian family that will be there to help me stay focused.

The friends I’ve made in my years since I came out have been so wonderful.  I know some will accept that I have changed the direction in which my life was going.  Others I am sure will not be so accepting.  I hope it will not be the latter, but if it is, I hope they know it will not upset me as I know not everyone has the same views.  Each person has a direction to go in life and they can follow it.  I have found one that brings me peace and happiness.  I hope they can find one as well.

I’ll keep posting as my path becomes more clear.

My Lenten Journey 2014

The Lenten season of 2014 is soon to end. From Ash Wednesday until Easter, Christians all around the world take part in a renewing of faith through repentance, penance, prayer, and self-denial. This can be hard for some and much easier for others. Truthfully, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be easy.

Self-denial is taking something we feel we can’t live without and purposefully taking it away. For instance, one may feel that eating steak multiple times a week is normal. They pay roughly $15.00 for each serving while others can barely afford a hamburger for $3.00-4.00. Giving up, or denying oneself, of that steak is a beginning. What would top that off would be taking the money not spent and donate it to a homeless shelter or buying non-perishable food items to donate to a local food bank. In that process, one is sacrificing a want for a need of another. Isn’t that what we are called to do as Christians? The welfare of others should always be very near the top of our cares. Did Christ not give so that we all may have? Nothing we could do as a sacrifice could ever overshadow the major sacrifice made by Christ as his sacrifice made it possible for us to have life.

My choice of self-denial this Lenten season is something I will keep to myself. It, however, has been wonderful in many ways. By denying myself of that one thing, I have learned that many other things in my life are more important. I believe I have achieved what I needed.

During this season, I have also been reading books in the process of learning more about the Episcopal Church. I recently finished reading Welcome to the Episcopal Church by Christopher Webber. It was very informative about the history of the American Episcopal Church, its believe structure, the sacraments, and its organization. When I finished reading, I really felt I was much more a part of the Episcopal Church family. I am in the process of reading Unabashedly Episcopalian by Andrew Doyle. The writer speaks more from the eyes of a bishop and I am enjoying it immensely.

Another great event taking place during this season is confirmation class. Our wonderful priest, the seminarian, and the verger have all taken part in teaching us things about the Episcopal Church, the Book of Common Prayer, the baptismal covenant, and other things we need to be aware of before Confirmation Mass on May 11th. I’m really excited. Since I made a public profession of faith on August 3, 1994 (at the age of 16) and I was baptized on August 14, 1994, I don’t go through that process again. One baptism is all that is needed. I will be received into the church.

Within the next two weeks, we will be observing Holy Week which leads up to Easter Sunday. Little girls will be dressed up in their Sunday dresses and hats and little boys will begrudgingly get dressed in suits as they gather into the church on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s a very moving Eucharist and one that I await. Maundy Thursday if the night before Good Friday. It is a touching gathering as well. The priest kneels before a chair and washes the feet of each participant as a symbol of service to humanity. It’s very moving.

(Friday morning @ 12:30am)

I started this post a few days ago. I haven’t been able to post it either because I couldn’t find words or I fell asleep before finishing. I’m posting it now as I am already thinking of the next post. My brain is full and it will need to be emptied soon. Stay tuned.